When I was younger I never thought about my shoes. I mean, I wanted them to look cool or feel comfortable, but I never really thought about what they did for my body. Your feet are the foundation that your whole body is built upon. I mean, think about it. All the weight and height and movement is placed right there on your thin, narrow feet. That is a lot of pressure!
I remember being in a track and field competition at my school when I was about ten years old. I couldn’t do the high jump or the hurdles, marathon running was beyond me, and my arm strength was pitiful. However we all had to participate so I joined the 100 meter dash. In the practice runs at school I had done okay, but at the actual completion I came in second to last. Looking back, I know what tripped me up. It wasn’t lack of speed or practice. It was that I had chosen fashion over function! I had on a pair of ‘cool’ black tennis shoes with extra thick soles. I mean huge, clunky things. It was a wonder I could walk in them, let alone race in them!
It wasn’t until years later that I understood the need for good shoes. I almost broke my leg playing sports in the wrong shoes and started to invest in the right shoe for the right sport. However it is more than just picking a shoe that has ‘running’ on the box.
When I started running regularly I noticed that no matter how focused I was on my style and gait I was still having pain; pain in my side, my back, my knee, or my ankle. I would change my speed, what I ran on, everything. But nothing seemed to really help. That is when a friend talked to me about getting fitted for a pair of running shoes. I had no idea you could get help with your shoes!
She had hurt her knee running and her doctor had told her about the need for being fitted for the proper shoe for your foot. He told her which stores were trained to help you find out how you walked and ran and what you needed in a shoe. It turns out that she came down on her heels too much and needed more support and training to avoid heal strikes.
Anyway, she told me where to go to find a fitter. “It is expensive,” she warned, “But there is more to getting a good running shoe than just finding a good brand.”
I ended up visiting one of those locations and they helped me to discover what I needed. Since I have flat feet, or over-pronation, I needed a shoe with a lot of support. By finding out first what I needed and then looking for the right shoe to meet that need they saved me a lot of trouble and pain. I did not have to try on a bunch if shoes and guess which one wouldn’t hurt when I ran in it.
They pulled out a few pairs that could help me with my problem and then taught me how to tie them properly so they would function at their best. Then I gave each pair a short try out around the store to see if it was the proper size and feel.
I ended up taking home a couple of pairs so I could trade them out so that they would not wear out as fast. My friend was right. It did cost more than I had spent on shoes previously but I thought it was worth the extra charge to be able to run without pain.
Now that I know what I need I do not have to keep going back. I can simply look for the shoes that meet my needs and buy them when I need them, usually every year.
Keep in mind that not only do you need a good shoe you also need to replace them regularly to keep the support intact for your feet. Find someone who can help you to determine what you shoe type needs are and you will feel better almost instantly.
Investing money in a good running shoe is worth it, especially if you plan on running for a long time. If you are in pain or just feel like you do not have the shoe support that you need, try getting some professional help. You won’t regret it.
Paul Taylor started http://www.babysittingjobs.com which offers an aggregated look at those sites to help families find sitters and to help sitters find families easier than ever. He loves writing, with the help of his wife. He has contributed quality articles for different blogs & websites.