If you run, proper footwear is essential to avoid injury and enhance your performance.
Find your best fit by first determining your foot type.
Either visit a foot doctor for a gait analysis or take the “wet test.” Simply wet the bottom of each of foot and step onto a paper bag. After a minute, step off and observe the imprint left by your foot.
High | Neutral | Flat/Low
Can lead to overpronation (ankle rolls inward).
›› best shoe: supportive, provides stability and motion control.
Can lead to underpronation (too much weight on outside of feet).
›› best shoe: cushioned, softer midsole and more flexibility.
In-between flat foot and high arch.
›› best shoe: equal amounts of stability and cushioning
While shoe shopping
- Have your feet measured while you’re standing.
- Always try on both shoes and test your running shoes while still in the store.
- Shop for shoes later in the day as feet tend to swell during the day.
- Buy shoes that don’t pinch your toes, either at the tips or across the toe box. Wear or buy the socks you’ll wear when you run.
- If you wear orthotics, bring them. You need to see how the shoe fits with the orthotic inside.
Change your shoes every 500 miles or once a year as the shoe midsole has a shelf life of 18 months or less. Suffer from bunions? Look for shoes that provide soft mesh at the sides for more comfort and cushioning, a wide toe box, and a snug heel for stability. In some cases, a custom-molded orthotics is needed for the perfect fit.
Get a full foot exam by a podiatrist at least twice a year. Also, make sure your feet are checked at every healthcare visit. If you develop any foot pain, redness, or sores, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Conduct a daily foot exam (see below).
›› Daily Foot Exam
- Check for loss of sensation in the feet (called neuropathy).
- Examine skin for calluses, blisters, sores, excessively dry or cracked skin, or anything unusual. Look for signs of decreased circulation such as thin, fragile, shiny skin with loss of hair.
- Check the feet for extreme temperatures (excessive warmth or coldness) and toenails for thickening, ingrown corners, excessive length, and fungal infection.
- Inspect socks for blood or any discharge.
- Examine footwear for torn linings, small pebbles, improper fit, and irritating seams.
If you have trouble reaching your feet to complete your daily foot exam, prop up a mirror on the floor or ask a friend or family member for help.
You can obtain a list of recommended shoes for all foot types at PRO Sports Club Podiatry or make an appointment with our foot doctor. Receive a 20% discount on shoes purchased at the Pro Shop with the visit.
By Dr. J Mari Adad, Podiatrist