Running makes us feel great. That is probably why it is one of the most popular activities worldwide. Despite its many health benefits, studies have shown that about 65% of runners get lower limb injuries within a given year, furthermore, 50% of injuries are recurring!
If you’re a keen runner, it is very likely that you have suffered from at least one of the following common running injuries – Runner’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, Hamstring issues, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome.
Some injuries can be prevented simply by ensuring that you have the right shoes. If you are keen to avoid these common injuries, the following are a few basic recommendations you might want to consider next time you buy your new pair of running shoes:
STEP 1: KNOW YOURSELF BETTER AND PAY ATTENTION TO:
The shape of your foot (flat, normal, high arch, length vs width/girth). You can draw your feet’s contours and measure them.
Your weight. If you are heavier, your forefoot will need wider space, whereas if you are thin, you should protect your feet from any rubbing and ensuring your shoes are not too loose.
The surface you are running on. Is it indoor on the treadmill, on the Dubai running track, or on the concrete sidewalk? Our shoe soles should be adjusted to your body response to impact as well as to the density of the ground.
Your experience with different shoes. Which shoes have you tried successfully in the past and which caused problems? How did these shoes wеar out?
Past and current injuries. What injuries have you had in the past? Are you currently experiencing any problems?
If you don’t have any problems, there’s no need to change your current shoe. In this case, you may want to consider buying several pairs of the same shoe before the manufacturer discontinuous them.
STEP 2: KNOW YOUR SHOES
Examine the soles of your shoes and note where the wear occurred. This can give you an idea for your gait and special biomechanical needs.
Look at the top of your shoe and note whether you can see the outline of your toes on top or your large or small toe on either side. If so, you may need longer and/or wider shoes.
Replace shoes every 350-550 miles before they start showing major wear. Shoes gradually lose their shock capacity and some of their stability over time. Consider wider and/or longer shoes if you have discomfort or have had “black toe” in the past.
STEP 3: TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR NEXT PAIR OF SHOES:
Make sure you try on both shoes.
Keep shoes on for at least 10 minutes to make sure they remain comfortable.
Have your feet measured each time you purchase shoes, as your foot size may gradually change as you age.
Wear the same type of socks to the store that you’ll be wearing with the shoe.
Bring orthotics with you if you wear them.
Ensure that the toe box has adequate room for your toes
Make sure that you are comfortable and that you like the feel of the shoe and your stride in them.
Ensure you can easily run with the shoes.
Only wear already broken-in shoes to marathons. Wearing new shoes to a marathon can lead to sore feet, blisters, or worse. Most important of all, remember to have fun!
What do you need to know about your foot’s movement and your biomechanical needs?
Remember, running shoes are mass-produced and therefore not fitted exactly to your personal biomechanical needs. To help personalize your fit, your podiatrist can perform GAIT analysis and a biomechanical assessment. This will allow her to recommend a customized shoe, advise you on best practices and create custom-made orthotics if necessary.