Chiropractic And Running Shoes

How To Choose The Right Runnnning Shoes

This week Isis Chiropractic Centres have the pleasure to share with you a blog from the Running Shop in Northampton, written by Connor Ratcliffe, on how to select the best running shoe for you to help you run better and experience less foot pain.

"Ok, so we will start with the easy stuff. Firstly, do not choose shoes based on colour! Comfort is king!"

Another key point is to get the size right, ordinarily you should have a half or a whole size up on your day-to-day size. So if you take a size 9 you will be looking at a 9.5 or a 10.

This is for two reasons:

  1. sizes vary and running shoes tend to come up smaller

  2. feet swell and expand from heat and impact when running.

So you are roughly looking for a thumbs width (a centimetre) between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe, particularly if you are looking at longer mileage or are on your feet for a long time.

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Exceptions To The Rule

But there are exceptions to every rule, some people just will not get on with space around the toes, expect it to feel a little bit alien but if it is just plain weird or uncomfortable and you feel like you cannot run in the shoes, chances are you probably wont be able to run in them.

Width is also something to take into account, particular manufacturers may offer narrow or wide fits in particular styles of shoes.

Key Points You Should Look For in a Running Shoe

Before we start on how to choose the style of shoe, here are some key points everyone should look for in any shoe.

  • Most importantly, the shoes have to feel comfortable, especially in the arch area of the foot.

  • The shoe holds onto the foot, not the other way around. You don’t want any movement, slipping or sliding of the shoe. This could lead to blisters or overworking muscles in the foot as they try and claw to hold onto the shoe to stop it moving.
  • Have a bit of wiggle room around the toes. You don’t want to be banging against the end of the shoe. Look for a thumbs width or centimetre between the longest toe and the shoe. We don’t want black, bruised toenails or nails falling off.

There Are 3 Types Of Feet And 4 Types Of Shoes

Broadly speaking there are 3 types of feet:

  1. neutral,
  2. supinated or
  3. pronated.

There are 4 categories of Running shoe;

  1. neutral,
  2. guidance,
  3. moderate support
  4. stability.

Supinaters and neutral feet will usually be in a neutral shoe or possibly guidance shoe.

Pronated feet will be in guidance, moderate support (most common) or stability shoe depending on the level of pronation.

The ‘Wet Footprint’ Test Can Sometimes Be Misleading

Distinguishing foot type and the correct style of shoe is usually very easy but sometimes it can be a bit trickier.

Broadly speaking you are best off going and seeing someone with experience and training to assess your foot type. The ‘wet footprint’ test can sometimes be misleading.

When it comes to Running shoes, we want to know two things, are you pronating? If so how much are you pronating? This is done primarily by looking at the arch, but more importantly what happens at the joint just below the ankle joint (subtalar joint).

This can be done by visual gait analysis or by video gait analysis. If the person assessing your gait knows their stuff then there is no benefit to video gait analysis over visual gait analysis when choosing your shoes.

Here are a couple of common things that would be looked at:

These pictures provide an example of what would be looked at when assessing foot type.

There are other factors to consider such as:

  • bowing of the lower leg (tibial varum),
  • what stage, if any, during gait pronation occurs,
  • early heel lift,
  • muscle weakness and compensations to mention a few.

Primarily running shoes will just address pronation, for more complex issues an insole or orthotic may be required.

In addition, the fit of the shoe can also be assessed. For example, if the support in a shoe is not sufficient or in the right place, then the foot will still pronate excessively or may bulge over the support and the base of the shoe.

Overall the most important criteria in a running shoe is comfort and getting the right support. Someone can tell you it is ideal and fits like a glove, but if it feels horribly uncomfortable, it is not the shoe for you!

"Listen to your feet and look after them, they’re pretty sensitive really!"

If you want any further information about forthcoming talks, please call us or contact the Isis Chiropractic Centres here.

Want To Know More? Request a Callback Here!

Or Give Us a Call, To Find Out How We Can Help You.

Milton Keynes: 01908 307075  |  Northampton: 01604 460200   |  Aylesbury: 01296 489231

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