Not so long ago those of us that enjoyed regular jogs and runs would grab any handy pair of trainers and, as long as they fitted comfortably, would happily set off without a further thought about the suitability of their footwear and the fact that they could cause knee and ankle problems.
For the less dedicated runners, their trainers would more often than not double up for other purposes. Maybe a game of tennis, playing football with the kids or strolling round the shops for a day of retail therapy.
It was not unusual to hear about joggers getting knee and ankle problems said to be caused by constant jarring when running on a hard surface.
This then led to a revolution in trainer design, focusing on the needs of runners and other athletes.
These advances have now resulted in a bewilderingly large choice of footwear, not only for specific sports but also for foot shape and in the case of runners, in running style and usage.
The Problems For Runners Today
The problem that is now presented to runners is that the days of seeing a nice pair of shoes that are a comfortable fit, have some cushioning and look suitable for the job may, in fact, cause unsuspected troubles ranging from simply not getting the best benefit from your type of running to causing or aggravating injuries that may seriously curtail your running experience.
We do not wish to be alarmist and in most cases today a sensible approach to choosing running footwear is unlikely to have the ill effects of the old days when any old trainers were expected to do the job.
The Price Of Trainers
The difference is that way back then we were not paying Â£70-Â£120 pounds a pair, the price you must expect to pay today for a pair of trainers. So it makes sense to target the best value for your fitness and your money by going to a specialist sports shop for advice.
You will need to give them as much information as possible.
We suggest taking along your old pair of running shoes, a pair of the socks you usually run in, tell them how far and how often you run, the type of surfaces you typically run over and inform them of any past relevant injuries to your feet or lower limbs. In case they do not notice also them know if you are flatfooted, have high arches, big toes with a tendency to turn inwards etc., etc.
A good specialist sports retailer should have no difficulty in sorting out a suitable pair of running shoes to exactly fit your needs so that you will get the best results from your runs, whether it be just for exercise and enjoyment or giving you a better chance of success in competitive races.
Never Forget Comfort
Next it is important to remember that however comfortable, however expensive and however successful your new running shoes are they will wear out. They will gradually stretch, the foam cushioning will lose its resilience, the soles will wear and so on.
Despite this they may still feel comfortable but damage to your feet, ankles and legs may begin to occur. As a general rule of thumb even the best and most expensive running shoes are good for about 500 miles, so if you run for only 5 miles twice a week you should be looking to replace your shoes after a year if you want to get the maximum benefit for your efforts.
Your new running shoes should neither be too short in the toes, about Â½ an inch gap between the big toe and the shoe will help in preventing any bruising caused by being too tight. Any looser and there is the real possibility of blisters being caused.
Finally it is a worthwhile practice to break your new running shoes in from new. For the first six runs simply alternate the new with the old before discarding your old faithfulls.
Category: Workout Wear