Wearing the wrong type and fit of shoes will have its detrimental effects not just on your feet, but your entire body. So many times athletes have attempted to squeeze into a smaller sized shoe or go a size larger without being properly fitted. Imagine strength training in shoes that are way too big – aside from the high probability of getting blisters, it will cause instability that is not just detrimental to proper body mechanics when lifting something like a medicine ball, but increase the likelihood of injury. Follow these basic rules to ensure a proper fit and avoid injuries and skin abrasions.
Pick shoes that are specific for the task
Basketball shoes typically offer good ankle support due to the higher chance of sprained ankles, while shoes for walking are stiffer. Good running shoes are flexible to absorb impact, but must be properly fitted to different running styles and gait.
Sizing guide for running shoes
Running shoes can be separate into two main attributes: cushioning and foot support. Generally, the taller and heavier you are, a running shoe with heavier cushioning is recommended. Additionally, padding is a personal preference. Some runners opt for less padding to feel the pavement underneath their feet for a more visceral connection to the road. Beware that going for the lightest shoe will entail lesser padding and cushioning, increase the risk for injury.
Foot support in running shoes is dependent on the type of arch and amount of foot flexibility. To determine your foot’s shape, perform the “wet test.” Simply lay a brown piece of paper on the ground and step on it with your moist foot. Feet that show very little curve towards the side of big toe mean there is very little foot arch. For those with a high foot arch, foot flexibility tends to be limited and the recommended shoe type would be those with provide a neutral arch support to combat against underpronation of the foot – the foot is rolled outward upon striking the ground. Moderate foot arches offer moderate foot flexibility, it is reasonable to wear running shoes with stability arch support. Moderate foot arches is typical, with around 80% of the population falling within the guidelines. “Flat footed” runners, or those with low foot arches have a high degree of foot flexibility, but need running shoes that offer maximum support and motion control. Overpronation of the foot (rolling of the foot inward) is prevalent amongst flat footed runners, and will cause knee and leg issues down the road.
Time is of the essence for shoe purchasing
When running, your feet tends to swell from additional blood flow. To ensure the highest degree of compatibility and fit, shop for shoes near the end of the day. After a long day, the feet will be swollen and simulate the size while walking or running.
Know when to move on
Like shocks on a car, running shoes have a finite mileage limit. Shoes lose the cushioning and support over time so the general guideline is to replace running shoes at around 350-400 miles of use. If the sole is visibly worn out or the shoe feels uncomfortable, get new shoes.
These simple guidelines will go a long way in ensuring longevity and vitality to your health. Purchase shoes that provide functionality and protection, rather than the aesthetics because after all, the shoes are a means to looking better and living better. Once again, consult a medical professional prior to beginning any new exercise regime.