The Importance of Wearing Proper Running Shoes:
Feet play an important role in almost everything that we do, and they are even more crucial when you are a runner. Whether you are an ultra-marathoner or a sprinter, one of the keys to doing what you love is strong and healthy feet. Taking care of your most important equipment requires finding the very best shoe for your body. Running in the right pair of shoes can prevent injury and common pains associated with running like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and shin splints.
Finding the Right Fit:
Choosing the proper running shoe can be tricky because there really is no one-size-fits-all in the world of running shoes. Each runner has unique feet, legs, and hips which move every individual body in a different way. Because there are so many details to finding the right pair of shoes, a quick google search of the best running shoes is not going to work. The best way to find your sole-mate is by visiting a specialty running store.
When you go to a store that specializes in running shoes, the first thing you’ll likely be asked to do is actually run for the employee. Be prepared by wearing comfortable clothes and your current pair of running shoes. Most stores have a video recording device to watch how your feet land, how your hips move, and what your legs are doing while you are running. This running demonstration will help the employee observe your gait and running style to better know what specific support you will need in a pair of shoes.
In addition to comfortable attire, it may also help to come prepared with answers to the following questions:
-Do you struggle with pain in your heels or arches?
-Do you have low or high back pain?
-Do you struggle with bunions on either side of your foot?
-How much distance will you be running or training for?
How Many Pairs Do you Need and How Long Will Your Running Shoes Last?
Some running experts actually recommend owning two pair of running shoes, so that your feet can become more adaptive, stronger, and less prone to injury. If you do own two pairs of running/athletic shoes, be sure to rotate between the two so that each shoe has at least 24 hours to bounce back after a workout. If owning two pairs of running shoes is not financially feasible, it is recommended that you buy a new pair every 300-500 miles. It is hard to keep track of how many miles you’ve ran since a new purchase of shoes, so it may be easier to pay attention to how your feet feel after a week of running. If the shoes feel flat or without spring, it may be time to run back to the store for some new treads. And remember, when you do buy a new pair of shoes, ease your feet through the transition gradually—starting with about 20-30% of your runs in rotation with your old pair.
Dr. Mohr is an avid runner himself, so if you have any questions about finding the right pair of running shoes feel free to ask him during your next visit!