About Jogging/Running and How to Choose the Right Shoes for Running
Running and jogging are a prevalent form of physical fitness in the United States. You can enjoy the activity all year round and it is easy to fit a quick run into your regular routine.
While jogging or running, the 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments, and a network of tendons, nerves, and blood vessels that make up the foot all work together. That is why it is important to condition your body properly. You should always build up to a running or jogging routine and be sure to stretch well before you begin exercising and after every run. You could sustain a muscle strain or a more serious injury if you don't gradually build up your running or jogging schedule.
The injuries most frequently associated with jogging and/or running are blisters, corns, calluses, Athlete's Foot, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. To help prevent foot issues from occurring with good hygiene and also by caring for your feet properly. Try to keep your feet dry. You can even powder them. When you go running, always put on a clean pair of socks and always wear appropriate footwear that fits well. Also, pay attention to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. If you start to experience pain while jogging or running or after going for a run, contact our office or your local podiatrist.
Jogging and Running Footwear
Due to the demands running and jogging puts on your legs, ankles, and feet, your footwear must provide plenty of cushioning for shock absorption. Like when buying shoes for walking, you should choose shoes made for your foot’s shape and your natural foot structure or inclination.
There are three basic foot types you should know about:
- Pronators. Pronators have relatively flat feet, which are caused by low arches. Low arches usually lead to overpronation, which is when the ankle rolls inward excessively. Pronators need motion control footwear that offers enough support for their mid-foot area. Motion-control shoes are made more rigidly and are built on a straight last. They’re typically board-lasted shoes and they have a piece of cardboard running the entire length of the shoe, which makes them more stable. Choose shoes with sturdy uppers for extra stability and try to not to buy shoes with lots of cushioning or highly curved toes. Additionally, search for footwear that has a reinforced heel counter to help maintain foot support and give more stability as well.
- Supinators. Supinators have high arches, which can cause underpronation. Underpronation puts too much weight and pressure on the outsides of the feet. Underpronators should look for stability shoes. Stability shoes are made to have more shock absorption and usually have a curved or at least a semi-curved last. Another recommendation may be a slip-lasted shoe. In a slip-lasted shoe, a sewn seam runs down the length of the shoe, which adds more flexibility to the shoe. Search for footwear that’s reinforced around the ankle and heel as well.
- Normal feet. People who have normal feet can wear any type of running shoe, but a curved last is typically preferred.
When running, the foot rolls from the heel to the toe. The foot bends at the ball with each step. That is why it is so vital for running footwear to have the right amount of flexibility in the exact right locations. But, for more shock absorption, the shoe needs a bit of added rigidity to support the middle portion of the foot. Be sure the heel is low, but you want it to be a little wider than a walking shoe. That will aid in absorbing the initial shock when the heel hits the ground.
Other tips on purchasing running shoes include:
- Always shopping in the late afternoon or at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest size. You feet swell during the day, so to get an appropriate fit for their largest size, it needs to be later in the day when you try on the shoes.
- Remember to take the socks you will wear with the footwear to the store with you. You want to try on the shoes with the socks and with anything else, like a shoe insert or custom orthotic, that will be in the shoe.
- Measure your feet while standing and fit all of your footwear to the larger of your two feet. Many people have feet of slightly different sizes. It is not that uncommon, so don’t just measure one foot.
- Check to see if there is enough space in the toe box for your toes to move and wiggle around. You want about half an inch between your toes and the tip of the shoe.
- Walk around the store and test out the shoes before you purchase them. Try on several different brands and types of shoes to find out which feels best and always walk and move around on different surfaces to make sure they feel the same on hard floors and carpeting. Don’t choose your shoes based on what they look like or the brand name. Choose your footwear based on how it feels on your feet.
- Choose footwear that’s made out of a lightweight and breathable material so your feet will be comfortable while you run or jog.
- Stick your hand in and feel all over inside the shoes to look for seams or catches that could irritate your foot when you run.
- Pick running shoes that use laces for closure for more foot stability and control.
- Be sure your heel fits snugly and isn’t loose. You don’t want your foot slipping out of the shoe.
- If you run often, you might want to think about purchasing more than one pair of running shoes. It is important to allow your shoes to dry out and breath in between wearings and if you buy just one pair and you go running often, that could be difficult. If you get more than one pair, you could trade them out.
- Always replace your running or jogging footwear two times a year or approximately every 400 miles.