New year, New resolutions…. For those of us that has chosen running as one of those resolutions, we are pretty excited to get out and put in some miles, but before you start pounding the pavement and chasing those miles, lets make sure you have the proper running shoes. Running is a simple beauty, and the benefits of a well fitted running shoe can make all the difference in the world.

When trying on running shoes they will often feel comfortable while you’re standing in the shoe store, but the true test comes after several miles into your run. Understanding your running style and foot type will benefit you in choosing the right running shoes. When it comes to running shoes, how they  fit is one of the most important factors to consider. An ill-fitting running shoe will not only make your running experience painful, it may also cause you to change your stride, leading to potential injury. Your feet tend to spread as you run. They also tend to swell a bit throughout the day, so trying on your shoes in the afternoon or evening may provide a more accurate fit. To accommodate foot spread, there should be roughly one thumb width between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Your shoes should wrap comfortable around your feet, they should not pinch or feel sloppy, and your feet should be centered on the platform of the shoes. Some shoes may better accommodate a narrow or wide foot, additionally, some shoe models are available in either wider or narrower size options. Standard shoe widths are Wide for men and Medium for women.

When choosing a running shoe, consider your style of running: trail running, cross training or road running.

  • Road running shoes are designed for pavement, they’re usually light and made to cushion and stabilize your feet on hard surfaces.
  • Trail running shoes are designed with aggressive treads that provides solid traction, stability, and protection while running off road on uneven terrain, such as rocks, mud, roots or other obstacles.
  • Cross trainers are designed more so for gym type workouts. These shoes are designed to give you more contact with the ground more so then the previous mentioned shoes, due to their thicker platform.

How do you run? Knowing how you run is very important when choosing the right running shoes. If you have an old pair of running shoes check the wear pattern to help you determine your running mechanics.

  • Neutral Foot: The wear pattern you will see in for this foot type is a wear pattern centralized to the ball of the forefoot and a small portion of the out side heel (The right side of the heel if you’re looking at the right shoe from the back, and the left side of the heel if you’re looking the left shoe from the back). This pattern shows  the foot’s natural heel strike, to mid stance to toe off (your gait). The neutral foot type helps absorb impact, by relieving pressure on the knees, hips and lower back. It is the normal trait of biomechanically efficient runners.
  • Overpronation (Flattening of the arch) The wear pattern you will see in this foot type  is a wear pattern along the inside edge of your shoes. The wear pattern will be medially located to the forefoot and rear foot (this will be the right side of the left shoe under the big toe and the heel, and the left side of the forefoot and heel of the right shoe if you’re looking at the shoes from the back). Overpronation is one of the most common foot types that affects runners, this foot type can leave runners risk of knee pain/ injury, heel pain, Achilles tendon pain/ injury ect. This foot type need stability or motion control shoes.
  • Supination (High arch): The wear pattern you will see in this foot type is a wear pattern along the outside edge of your shoes. Very few runners supinate, but those who do will benefit from a shoe with plenty of cushioning and flexibility.

Running can be rewarding, fun, and relaxing, but it also can cause a lot of harm if you’re not in properly fitted shoes. For more information, contact us for a free gait and foot evaluation today.