Marathon season is ramping-up, are you ready for your next-race? If you’ve been training hard, you should take a look at your running shoes. When they show excessive wear, or the midsole seems less firm than it used to be, it is time to shop for a new pair.
Running with worn-out shoes isn’t just bad for your performance—it’s also bad for your feet. If the shoe doesn’t support you well, you are subject to pronation problems that can damage the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in your feet and legs and cause painful problems for weeks on end.
How to find the right running shoe for you? Here are five tips:
Do a gait analysis. Sure, you can check wear patterns on your shoes, or have the sales person observe while you run on a treadmill. However, there is no substitute for a comprehensive exam and biomechanics evaluation by a foot specialist, with the added bonus that they can treat any problems that are found.
Visit a specialty store. Once you know your pronation pattern (the way your foot performs as you run), trained personnel at a running store can steer you to the styles that are right for you, and help you fit them properly.
Go for quality. A well-made shoe should normally last a few months or about 500 miles if you run several times a week. Price isn’t always an indication of quality. You should be able to find a sturdy pair that is comfortable without breaking the bank, but don’t hesitate to pay a little more for quality construction.
Insist on comfort, right from the get-go. If a shoe feels funny when you put it on, it won’t get any better the longer you wear it. Room for your toes, good arch support, and a heel counter that fits snugly help your feet stay in place and avoid blisters and foot pain. You may need to pick a half size larger than your normal shoes, especially if you need orthotic inserts.
Try on both shoes and fit to your larger foot. Walk around the store for several minutes to make sure they still feel right, and check the store’s return policy.
For more tips or a gait analysis, call Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in the Denver area at (303) 423-2520.
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