If you’re brand new to the sport of running, you may soon find out that your normal gym shoes just aren’t going to cut it. A lot goes into proper running form: your body’s strength, mobility, and ability to balance all play a role as your foot hits the ground and then pushes back off again. (A good time to mention the value of a one-on-one Run Analysis with a physical therapist! A personalized assessment of your run form can determine whether you’re predisposed to injuries such as knee pain, hip pain, stress fractures, and others.). With the wrong footwear, the likelihood of aches and pains increases a great deal. As physical therapists, it’s our mission to not only help those experiencing pain recover but also to help patients prevent injuries before they happen.
One common question we hear from new runners is: How do I pick the right running shoes to wear? The decision can be intimidating; there’s so many brands and so many styles, how do you know what will work best for you? Truthfully, it depends on a number of factors, including the shape of your foot and your running style. While this is far from a comprehensive guide, here are a few tips to consider the next time you’re faced with the decision of choosing the best running shoes.
#1: When trying on shoes, make sure to wear your preferred socks and if possible, try the shoes on towards the end of the day.
#2: Remove the inner sole of the shoe and make sure your foot fits comfortably inside.
#3: Feel around the inside of the shoes for “hot spots,” or areas that may be abrasive.
#4: Fully lace up both shoes without pulling the laces too tight. Your toes should have adequate room in the toe box in both vertical and horizontal directions.
#5: Fit the shoes to the longest toe of your longest foot.
#6: Make sure your heels are snug in the heel counter with no vertical movement when you walk/run.
#7: Try on multiple pairs of shoes and select the most comfortable pair.
#8: Go on a test run! Believe it or not, most running shoe stores will let you go outside and jog around the block so that you can get a feel for shoes to be sure they’re just what you’re looking for.
Our physical therapists are athletes who share the same passion that you do. They will work with you to create an individualized program based upon your goals and needs. To learn more about our physical therapy services, book a physical therapy assessment today.