Gear-Zone Guide to Running Shoes: The Perfect Fit
Posted by Neil | July 15, 2011
Three-quarters of men and women do not wear running shoes or trainers designed for the sport they are doing, according to a recent survey.
Forces through the joints can exceed an incredible eight times the wearer’s body weight, leading to common, stress-related damage to the knees, short-term pain in the feet and ankles and longer-term problems like arthritis in later life.
Badly-fitting footwear can take its toll in many different ways, and shoes specifically designed for your chosen sport is crucial, according to a leading podiatrist.
Here at Gear-Zone, we know all about the importance of getting it right.
Our leading brands include Mizuno, whose own research has discovered that there is a significant difference between the biomechanics of men and women’s running gaits, and Saucony, who concentrate on different arch types and pronation.
Support in any running shoe is vital, whether in the form of shock absorbant soles, forefoot cushioning or impact protection in the heel.
Every step you take can have an adverse effect on your entire body; pronation – and its opposite number supination – are two sides of a story that many amateur athletes are totally unaware of.
One of the most common causes of foot discomfort is the condition known as excessive or over-pronation. This is where the arch flattens, causing soft tissues to stretch and joints to function at unnatural angles. These joints then become loose and flexible, meaning each stride can put stress on the muscles, tendons and ligaments, causing permanent deformities.
Symptoms are easy to spot – the outside of the heel and inside of the sole both wear out very quickly, and you can develop pain in the big toe, heel, ball of the foot and shin.
If allowed to develop, more pronounced pain can be felt in the Achilles’ tendon and knees.
Supination – aka underpronation - is insufficient roll of the foot after landing. This places extra stress on the lower body; again, particularly the knee. Obvious wear to the outside of the sole is a clear indicator.
Runners with high arches tend to be supinators. Remedies include shoes with specially built-in curves, manufactured to align the calves and hamstrings.
Confused? There’s really no need – the answer is to seek expert advice, choose your footwear accordingly, and become one of the 25% who do wear the correct running shoes or trainers, whatever their chosen sport.
See our Gear-Zone range of running shoes at Adidas, Asics, Mizuno, Inov8, Nike and Saucony for the very best in athletic footwear.