Selecting the Right Running Shoes
Your feet are complex structures. With 26 bones, 112 ligaments, 33 joints and a large network of blood vessels, tendons and nerves, the structures of your feet work together to allow you to run and walk with grace and ease. To help protect the complex structures of your feet, a good pair of running shoes is a must. They can help to keep your feet in good working order.
Before beginning a running program, it is a great idea to visit with a podiatrist. A podiatrist can examine your feet and identify potential problems. Your doctor can discuss potential problems, proper conditioning, recommend running shoes and prescribe orthotics as he/she sees fit. If you have a pair of running shoes, you may even want to bring them along for the podiatrist to examine them. Remember, your feet should be checked regularly. During a 10 mile run, your feet will strike the ground approximately 15,000 times, which exerts a force three to four times greater than your body’s weight.
Shoe choice should be determined by a large number of factors. These factors include your foot structure, running environment, how often you run and the intensity of your runs. Shoes should also be purchased based on whether your over- or under-pronate or have a ‘neutral’ foot. Remember that shoes come in a variety of different sizes, widths and shapes that can fit a variety of different feet and not all shoes are the same from brand to brand.
Regardless of your foot structure, you should look for shoes that provide proper cushioning, absorb shock and can provide stability for your feet. Shoes should fit snugly in the heel and leave enough room in the toes for your toes to be able to wiggle comfortably. Most importantly, it is critical that you replace your shoes when they become worn or damaged to help prevent injuries to your foot and ankle.