1. Before Getting to the Store, Do Some Homework
Finding the running shoe that’s best for you can be a challenging and confusing process. When choosing proper footwear, you must consider a number of factors like gait patterns, biomechanics, height & weight, foot pronation, foot size, and how your foot strikes the ground. Gathering as much accurate information about these areas as possible is important groundwork for preparing you to be an educated running-shoe consumer.
2. Consult a Fit Expert
The variety of running shoe shapes, sizes, and brands can be overwhelming to a shopper, especially if you’re looking for your first pair. Consulting with a professional shoe-fitter like those at Schuler Shoes not only simplifies the process, but is important in terms of helping to avoid injury. Trained consultants know how to evaluate your feet, running style, as well as the factors mentioned above to steer you toward footwear that best suits you.
3. Injuries Can Signal You’re In the Wrong Shoe
Running in the wrong pair of shoes can alter body biomechanics and gait patterns. This is what we as healthcare professionals call an “extrinsic factor”, or outside forces contributing to potential injury. Continual pressure from such forces will eventually lead to tissues that are overloaded and in a constant state of stress. The body may or may not adapt to these changes, and when the body does fail to adapt, you often get one of the following injuries:
- +Plantar Fasciitis
- +Achilles Tendonitis
- +Shin Splints
- +Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- +Patellar Tendonitis
- +Ankle, knee, and hip problems
A runner is extra prone to these injuries if they already have inside forces, or “intrinsic factors” working against them such as arthritis, muscle imbalances, or other structural compromises like uneven leg length.
4. Not All Shoes Are Created Equal
Avoid blindly buying discounted running shoes at any old retail center. You get what you pay for. Cheaper shoes often mean a lower quality that breaks down faster, causing higher impact and accelerating gait pattern alterations. And remember: a shoe should form to the body, not a body to the shoe. Make sure you go to a store that can properly evaluate you and fit you into the right footwear.
Some More Tips: The American College of Sports Medicine has some other helpful tips on how and when to buy running shoes, as well as other things to avoid when shopping.
Dr. Derek Doty of Orthology is Chiropractic Physician that holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Bloomington, MN. He takes a special interest in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of soft-tissue injuries such as acute and chronic sports injuries, and repetitive strain injuries. Dr. Doty is full-body certified in Active Release Techniques (ART), with additional training in nerve-entrapment ART protocols. He is also certified in Graston Technique and is currently working on his certification in chiropractic sports medicine (CCSP). Dr. Doty grew up in Spicer, MN where he attended New London-Spicer High School. Here, while playing football, he learned how beneficial chiropractic care can be for sports injuries and performance improvement—this is when he found his calling. In his spare time, Dr. Doty enjoys spending time with his friends and family, watching professional and college sports, hunting, fishing, running, playing softball, and enjoying all that the city has to offer.