Friday, January 29, 2016

Are You Wearing the Right Running Shoes?

At the end of January there are still some New Year's Resolutioners hanging in there and losing weight. Good at you! But what do you have in common with many of us that have been running for years? You may not be wearing properly fitted running shoes.

Wearing the wrong shoes can result in injury and the medical costs associated with that, not to mention the depressing downtime. The best bet is to have an analysis done at a running-specific shoe store, not your typical mall outlet. These specialists can determine your special needs and perform a gait analysis.

You must determine whether you are a neutral runner, an over-pronator, or an over-supponator. You must take into account your foot width. Many manufacturers don't offer different widths. New Balance and Brooks are good bets for wider feet.

Once you have determined a shoe model that is right for you, you will know what to buy in the future. Since running shoe companies are notorious for retiring favorite models, you need to remember the key specs for your favorite. This will allow you to pick another model when your regular one goes away.

Don't be shy about asking the manufacturer about model changes; sometimes it is just a name change. For example, many, many years ago, my shoe of choice was the Brooks Chariot. The model didn't really go away, it was just upgraded and renamed the Beast.

How many miles should you put on your shoes before changing them out? That is largely a personal matter and you can't rely on looks. Knowing when you need new running shoes is a case of trial and error. I personally find 500 miles to be the right distance.

The bottom line? Don't gamble with your running shoe selection. Medical treatment is always more expensive than a new pair.

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