Injury Free Runners Choose The Right Kind Of Running Shoe
Many people start personal running programs with all the right intentions, and plenty of motivation, only to slack off or quit after a few weeks. In many of these cases foot, ankle or knee soreness is the culprit.
Running on hard surfaces like paved roads and sidewalks can cause injury. If you live in a major metropolitan area there may not be much you can do about that. Running on uneven surfaces is also often the cause of discomfort or injury. The kinetic energy of your foot striking the ground while running is about five times your body weight. For a 200 pound man that means that each foot absorbs about 1,000 ft/pounds of energy each time it strikes the ground. It is no wonder running can create discomfort or injury.
You may only have a limited choice deciding where to run, but you have many choices deciding which pair of running shoes to put on your feet. It does make a big difference. The fundamental principle of selecting the proper running shoe is that the shoe should fit your foot, not the other way around. Running shoes do not have a break-in period. Running shoes will not stretch or contort their shape to fit your fit. Your running shoes fit the first time you put them on or never.
Your mission is to find a shoe that conforms as closely as possible to the shape of your foot. How do you determine the shape of your foot, and why is that important?
Shoe manufacturers are aware that, anatomically, feet usually fall into one of three categories. Some people have "floppy" feet that are very loose-jointed. Because feet like this are too mobile, they give and roll to the inside when they hit the ground. Floppy feet leave a flat foot impression on wet sand. Improperly fitted running shoes tend to cause uneven wear on both the inside and outside of the shoe. The heels will tend to wear unevenly on the inside.
Common injuries for floppy feet from improperly fitted running shoes are knee pain, arch pain, and heel pain. Floppy feet need motion control running shoes.
At the other extreme are people with "rigid" feet. These feet are very tight-jointed and do not yield enough upon impact. Rigid feet leave only the toes, balls of the feet, and heel impression in wet sand. Another name is high arch feet. Improperly fitted running shoes for rigid feet tend to wear unevenly on the outside of the shoe. Heels wear excessively on the outside edge.
Common rigid foot running injuries are stress fractures, shin splints, and ankle sprains. To help avoid these impact related injuries, these people need impact control running shoes.
Finally, the third type, or normal foot, falls somewhere between mobile and rigid. This type of foot can use any running shoe that is stable and properly cushioned.
If you want to prevent injury and stay with your running program you need either motion control running shoes, impact control running shoes, or properly fitted cushioned running shoes. The major shoe manufacturers are way ahead of you and already have the running shoe that is engineered for your particular foot shape. The ball socket, which is the widest part of the shoe, is the most important fitting area.
Here are few tips on fitting the proper running shoes. Your foot size changes regularly and what fit comfortably a few years ago may not be right today. You want 3/8 to ½ inch of room from the end of your longest toe to the front of the shoe. The shoe will not stretch to fit. Measure your feet at the end of the day. They may be ½ size larger than when you got up.
About the Author: (C) 2006. Peter Somerville. Get more information about motion control running shoes, and impact control running shoes, and running shoes at neverenufshoes.com