7 MISTAKES RUNNERS MAKE WITH SHOES August 02, 2016 14:09
Picking the Right Shoe For You
Do You Make These Mistakes With Your Shoes?
- Selecting shoes that are too small
A running/walking shoe should be about a half size bigger than the measurement of the foot. For example, a woman who measures at size 8 ½ would most likely have the best fit in a size 9 running shoe or bigger. Swelling occurs during a walk or jog, and having about a thumb width from the longest toe to the end of the shoe is a minimum suggested length.
- Running in worn out shoes
This is a big problem with new runners. When shoes are worn out, they should be replaced. A good rule to follow is to buy a new pair after six months of wear. If you keep track of mileage, most shoes will last up to 500 miles, but there are factors such as cushion level in the shoe, foot strike position, weight of the runner, frequency of workouts that can decrease the amount of miles for any given shoe.
- Foot shape, arch height, or pronation determine which shoes you buy
This is the #1 mistake made not only by consumers, but also by sports and running store employees. Research has shown these common misconceptions to be false, and that selecting shoes by these factors can actually lead to foot and knee problems. During walking and running, pronation will occur and naturally absorbs shock. Excessive pronation should be corrected with strengthening exercises for the foot, leg, and hip, rather than by a certain type of shoe.
- Your shoes have too much cushion or “support”
This is another common mistake. The extra cushioning can cause bad habits to form. The cushion can cause runners to land with greater impact than with a shoe that has less cushioning. Orthotics and inserts for arch support are often not necessary in the long term. A therapist can help increase foot strength with exercises. With increased foot strength, orthotics and inserts will not be needed and a proper running shoe can be selected.
- You purchase shoes online
While this may seem like an easy way to replace shoes, it’s also the least effective method of getting the proper model for you. When you find a running or walking shoe that you like, a new model of that shoe will likely come out within 8-12 months of your original purchase of the shoe. New models will come with changes, and some of those changes might mean the new model will not be the ideal shoe for you anymore. The best practice is to go to your local running store and get a shoe fitting to confirm that the newest model of your favorite shoe is still the shoe that will work for you. Not to mention the economic benefits of supporting local shops!
- You purchase a shoe based on color or the recommendation of a friend
When it comes to running and walking shoes, do your feet a favor: ignore the colors and judge the shoes by the way they make your feet feel. Men can be just as picky as women when it comes to colors on running shoes. Let the comfort of your feet be your guide rather than the colors on the shoes. Also take any recommendation from a friend with careful consideration. Their foot is different than yours, and their ideal shoe is not very likely to be yours.
- Confusing the Signs of Worn Out Shoes with Something Else
A common sign that shoes are worn out is the onset of bilateral pain in the feet, the knees, or even the hips. If you’ve been running or walking without pain in areas that suddenly begin to hurt on your run, first ask yourself how long you’ve had the shoes. If your mileage exceeds 500 miles or if it’s been more than 6 months since you bought the shoes, it’s possible that the pain you’re experiencing is an indicator that the shoes have worn down and need replacing. Be sure to consult a professional if you believe the pain is not related to your shoes.
When it comes to shoes, pick comfort over looks!
Blogger Bria works at St. Pete Running Company as a customer service manager.