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Choosing A Running Shoe

How To Choose A Running Shoe

Most people who wear running shoes don’t use them for running. Running shoes are designed mostly to reduce impact on the foot and therefore the whole body. This also makes them good for standing and walking. Running shoes have many features, but what actually helps your feet and what do you really need?

Many people like the feel of a cushiony shoe. Shoe companies notice this and have even gone as far as adding memory foam insoles to their shoes. The problem is, you can have TOO MUCH cushioning, and this can cause new problems for you. Our bodies have become adapted to take in impact information and relay that to the brain to help stabilize our lower joints via muscle reaction. With too much cushioning below the foot, this information is lost and the ankle becomes less stable as a result. Also, the body receives less information about where your foot is in relation to the rest of your body and may not respond correctly, especially if there is a need to react to a slight loss of balance. Some studies show that with softer soled shoes on, people will actually hit the ground with greater forces to compensate, losing the supposed benefit of the shoe.

So, what features should you look for in running shoes? First, overall comfort when you put the shoe on. There is a lot of variety in shape and proportion of shoes, so spend some time walking in them at the store. Next, the heel should be slightly higher compared to the front of the shoe. This helps to take pressure off the calf and Achilles tendon. People who experience plantar fasciitis find this more comfortable, too. Next, give the heel of the shoe upper a squeeze. It should be firm, helping to hold your foot properly in the shoe. Last, bend the toe of the shoe up. It should bend, but without bending the middle part of the sole, also. This indicates a firm sole which helps with stability of the shoe, and therefore your foot. With these features, you get enough support from the shoe, and they likely will have less excess cushioning.

If you find you still have foot, ankle or leg pain, getting an assessment of your feet and how they move while walking is useful. You might need to add a custom orthotic to the shoe to add any additional support that YOUR foot needs. Ask about getting an orthotic examination.

Dr. Doug Has Been Fitting Custom Orthotics For Over 20 Years!

Call us at: 905-451-3963

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