Despite most of basing our choices on the colour and the design, there are some other (more important!) factors you should take into consideration.
Unfortunately the research doesn’t have much more of an idea. Scroll down for some more in depth info about that but if you are just here for the tips see below:
Here are our tips for your best bet at finding the right shoe.
How does it feel:
- Raise onto your toes and make sure the flexy section is where your big toe meets your foot. You should be able to get up onto your ‘tippy toes’ just as though you are barefoot.
- Does the shoe feel as though it is rolling you out (over correcting) or rolling you in (forced pronation)? It should feel ‘supportive but not overly supportive so that you feel like you’re standing on the sides of your feet. Or, not enough support will feel like your feet and legs are rolling in.
- It should not be too loose, or too tight at the toe section, through the middle or around the heel. ‘Skate shoes’ for example are generally wide in the heel and tight in the toe area and are notorious for causing issues.
- Is it too bulky, ie do you feel like you are ‘plonking’ around in the shoe? this may be due to the pure mass of the shoe, or it may also be due to the heel height or the ‘drop’. Try and look for something light and small if you are light and small in stature, if you are of a bigger build then look for something bigger. The shoe will therefore change should you gain or lose a large % of body weight. The drop is the difference between the height at the heel and the height at the forefoot. Zero drop shoes are obviously dead flat, and despite what barefoot running advocates claim they may be more harmful than helpful but that’s a whole other post!
What’s it for?
Netball or court sports will require a different sole known as a cross trainer. This ensures some slip is allowed as running shoes grip too much and leave you open to ankle sprains, knee problems etc.
Trail shoes also have different tread and are generally more hardy in the upper to deal with the rocking and rolling that comes with running trails.
Long runs/FARTLEK or speed sessions may require different footwear. Generally lighter lower profiled footwear will naturally wear out quicker- so its good to keep those just for your shorter runs and speed work.
How does it look?
Use the person in the shop that is helping you. We suggest you make the trip to Cronulla to Runnulla or Southside Runners or The Running Company in Bondi to be fitted by runners/sports people. Use their guidance as to how the shoe ‘looks’. It may feel great, but they will be able to assist you with the things you can’t see, or feel that may affect the abnormal wearing of the shoe. They will also help provide some additional guidance on the width and length.
The shoe should also suit the way you walk, your general movement and posture. It should compliment that movement, hence the importance we place on what YOU feel. Footwear will wear quickly in areas that are overloaded. So, what we, or whoever is there to help you sees, is important to identify those areas as once they wear out the shoes will no longer feel how they did when you bought them.
Pressure plates and the foot outline is a poor method to fit footwear full stop.
There is debate over whether ‘supportive’/’motion control’ shoes actually do anything, with much of the research suggesting it doesn’t. So, do you FEEL supported? or over corrected? or under supported?
Zero drop/barefoot minimalist shoes show no improvement to injury rates in runners.
Still not sure?
Call 9521 7578 for a gait and footwear assessment and we will run through our unique scoring sheet to give you an even greater chance of finding that right shoe.