Thursday, August 21, 2008

Running Shoes

I have spent more time looking for good running shoes than I did looking for a wedding dress.

Along the way I have found some good tips and have finally found the shoe I want. Thought I would share tips for finding a good shoe.

First you have to figure out what type of shoe you need. You can go to certain running stores and they will put you on a tredmill of course that is ideal but those stores are sometimes hard to find. Another way is to just look at your foot. A more accurate way is to examine your footprint by either running in the sand or on paper with wet feet (this is what I did).

There are three different types of feet:
Flat Feet
If you're looking at your foot, you'll know you have flat feet if you don't see any arch. The bottom of your foot, from your toes to your heel, is completely flat. If you do the footprint test, your print will look like a foot-shaped blob. You won't see an inward curve from your big toe to your heel. If you're flat-footed, you're most likely an overpronator, which means that your feet roll inward when you run.
What to Buy: You will probably need a shoe that maintains your stability. Look for the words "motion control" and "stability" on the box of running shoes you are considering. In addition to motion-control shoes, some flat-footed runners also need to wear orthotics.

High-arched Feet
You should be able to easily determine if you have high arches -- you'll notice a high and definite arch on your foot. If you do the footprint test, your print will curve inward, making the middle part of your foot look very skinny. When you push your hand against the bottom of your foot, your arch will stay rigid.
If you have high arches, you probably supinate or underpronate, which means your feet roll outwards as you run. It's very important that runners with high arches periodically re-measure their feet because running will cause their arches to gradually fall, making their feet longer.
What to Buy: You need to look for flexible shoes with a soft midsole that absorbs shock. When buying running shoes, look for options with the words "flexible" or "cushioned" included in their descriptions.

Neutral or Normal Feet
If you've examined your foot or your footprint and it doesn't look flat-footed or high-arched, you most likely have a neutral or normal foot. Your footprint will have a noticeable curve inward, but not by more than 3/4 of an inch.
As long as you pick a shoe that doesn't counteract your foot type, you shouldn't encounter any problems. This is the most common type of foot, and it's also the least susceptible to injury provided it's outfitted with proper footwear.
If you have normal feet, you can choose from a wide variety of running shoes, including ones made for neutral runners or those with slightly flat-footed or high-arched feet. Don't pick running shoes that have a lot of stability or motion control.

I found this size chart for measuring your foot. Measure both feet and take the measurement from the larger foot. You should always have a thumbs length wiggle room in the toe.

I had originally bought my normal size in running shoes and that was a mistake I had to go up a size. Good running shoes help with shin splints, achy legs, etc. It is a worthwhile investment if you are going to run.


The Woman said...

I definately don't have flat feet. I will have to walk in the wet grass tomorrow and look to see if I have high arch or normal feet