Due to the fast-paced nature of modern life, most of us are constantly engaged in demanding activities. Whether you spend your days standing, or you’re always on the move, being active requires a certain degree of comfort. If this is your case, then you need to know that the proper footwear makes all the difference in the world.
As exemplified by a story published on www.workbootcritic.com, when you spend long hours standing up because of your profession, it’s important to wear shoes that support the feet properly. This prevents pain, deformations, and other long-term complications. But this isn’t the only instance when sustainable footwear is essential.
How to Choose Running Shoes
Running is an activity that can take a toll on your feet if you’re not careful. For this reason, choosing the proper pair of sneakers is essential. This is even more important when you engage in it as physical therapy. If you’re not careful about what you wear, you can end up doing more harm than good. Here are four crucial tips that will get you on the right track:
Consider Your Running Style
When choosing running shoes that are orthopedically appropriate, the first thing to consider is your running style. To determine what pattern you adopt, have a look at a pair of old sneakers and observe their wear and tear. There are three main types, namely pronation, overpronation, and supination, or under-pronation.
In the case of pronation, the most pressure is applied to the ball of the foot and a small part of the heel. This happens because your foot naturally rolls inward when it hits the ground. It helps with shock absorption, and most efficient runners display it. Overpronation refers to an exaggeration of this style.
Many runners suffer from overpronation. If left unsupervised and unattended, it leads to joint pain and knee injury. Finally, supination happens when the most wear and tear is present alongside the outer edge of the footwear. Although it is rare, some people still encounter it. Such cases benefit from additional cushioning on the lining of the shoe.
Know the Specifics of Your Foot
To achieve the maximum amount of comfort possible, you need to analyze more than just your running style. If you want your running shoes to provide the ideal amount of support, you need to know every single quirk your feet have. Most quality brands offer models to suit anyone, so you just need to know what to look for.
To figure it out, wet your foot and step on a piece of brown paper. If there is little to no curve on the inside, you either have low arches or flat feet. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the connection between the forefoot and heel is a narrow one, your arches are higher than normal. Depending on the results, you need to choose your next pair of sneakers accordingly.
Orthotics Aren’t Always Required
When the particularities of your feet are rather unusual, a quick visit to the podiatrist will most likely earn you a prescription for orthotics. However, not every single type of athletic shoe benefits from them. In fact, in some cases adding them to the mix is overkill and can lead to complications in the long run.
According to Houston podiatrist Jeffrey Ross, M.D., neutral running shoes that have no additional support or cushioning combine well with orthotics. But if you’ve already purchased a stability-style pair of footwear, this accessory usually leads to supination. Asics and Saucony generally make great neutral sneakers, while New Balance is the choice with inbuilt features.
Make Sure the Shoes Fit
The final thing that you need to do when shopping for comfortable running shoes is ensuring that they fit right. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. If they are too small, too tight, too large or too loose, it will lead to unpleasant consequences such as blisters, calluses, and even bunions.
Choosing the right size can be tricky, especially considering that it varies from brand to brand, and sometimes even from model to model within the same line. For this reason, it’s better to shop in the store, rather than online. Always do this in the afternoon, so that your feet have time to expand naturally during the day.
Another recommendation is to always wear the same socks you would while on your runs. Depending on the thickness and slip of the material, your perception and comfort levels might be altered. And, of course, when in doubt, always request the assistance of the sales assistant on site. He or she will help you with the try-on process.
The Bottom Line
Whether you approach running as a hobby, or you need it for physical therapy, choosing a proper pair of shoes is essential. When your footwear suits your needs and fits just right, achieving visible results is more efficient than ever. So, what are you waiting for? Make a mental note of these tips and hit your local sportswear store.
Written by Vincent West