We’re going to kick this off with a fairly obvious statement — your feet are important and safeguarding their health will serve you well for years to come. While your feet are designed to withstand quite a bit as they carry you through life, when you add activities like running, it pays to ensure you support this new workload properly‚ namely with the right running shoes.
At Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, our team understands the importance of exercise and we encourage our patients to get up and move. But we also want you to take care of your feet so that you can continue to be active long into the future.
With that in mind, here are a few things you should consider when choosing your running shoes.
Even if you buy the priciest running shoes available, if they don’t fit properly, it could really damage your feet. To ensure the right fit, we encourage you to test out a wide range of options as one manufacturer’s size 7 is another’s size 8. This means going to a shoe store and walking around in different running shoes.
And we urge you to do this testing later in the day, after you’ve been on your feet for a while. Your feet are incredibly complex structures that are made up of dozens of bones that are surrounded and held together by connective tissues. When you first take to your feet in the morning, these tissues may be a little tighter, but as you make your way through the day, they relax and your feet spread out.
When it comes to the actual fit, we recommend that there’s a little space between your big toe and the end of the shoe when you stand up. Buying shoes in which your toes touch the front is never a good idea because once you start running, your feet will spread out a little.
It’s also important that your feet have adequate support from the sides. When you try on running shoes, make sure that your entire foot feels well-supported.
While fit is essential, so is choosing the right running shoe for your level of activity. To start, some shoes are designed specifically for running, so you should start there. Next, it makes a big difference whether you’re a trail runner or track runner as you’ll benefit from different treads for each of these different surfaces. With trail running shoes, you’ll have better traction, but this same traction can trip you up on a smooth track.
Of course, some hybrid options may allow you to do both, just be sure that the tread can handle the types of surfaces you’re likely to run on.
No matter how great your running shoes feel, everyone’s feet are different and manufacturers can’t design for individualized concerns. So it might be smart for you to invest in custom orthotics.
When you come into our offices, we take molds of your feet and then discuss your activities and your goals. Armed with this information, we can design custom inserts that add the exact support your feet require, which can boost your performance and prevent injury — a clear win-win.
If you have any questions about choosing the right running shoes, please contact one of our conveniently located offices in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Murfreesboro, and Lebanon, Tennessee.