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How do I Choose the Right Running Shoes?

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Footwear plays a very important role for posture and anatomically correct movement both during sport and in our everyday lives. There are so many different types of footwear out there, with each brand offering the latest niche or styling with claims to increase performance, it can be difficult to choose.

Which Shoes Are Best?

The correct running shoe should:

  1. Maintain your foot’s natural structure,
  2. Allow adequate movement
  3. Provides sufficient support

But finding the pair that ticks all of these boxes can be difficult. Your physiotherapist can analyse your natural foot position to help you narrow down your shoe choices. They will look at the shape of your foot, the arch positioning, as discussed our previous blogs How to Treat Pes Cavus (High Arched Feet)and How to Treat Pes Planus (Flat Feet), as well as the movement and alignment of your ankles and knees.

Prone to Injuries?Runner Injury

If you are prone to a lot of injuries whilst running, this could be down to the footwear you wear.  The best way a physiotherapist assess this, is to see you running on a treadmill in your usual trainers. There are occasionally facilities in gyms or clinics, which film you running on the treadmill to allow for a more in-depth analysis. Surprisingly, something as simple as a slightly incorrect foot positioning during the foot placement of a stride when running, can be responsible for those troublesome recurrent ankle and knee injuries.

Should I Get Minimalist Running Shoes?

The new craze of “minimalist” running shoes which promote a “natural experience’” whilst running have quite varied research conclusions.  Some research is claiming that they minimise injuries, whilst others are displaying monumental increases in injury rates. In a particular study by Ryan et al in 2013, Examining Injury Risk and Pain Perception ibarefoot shoen Runners Using Minimalist Footwear, they drew some interesting conclusions when comparing three different types of running shoes. They suggested that during the 12 weeks when study was conducted, this new minimalist footwear might contribute to an increase in specific injuries in recreational runners, most notably in the participant’s shins and calves. In the conclusion, however, they do not completely discourage the use of shoes.  The authors of the study claim “minimalist shoes can contribute to improve running form following guidance from an experienced coach of medical professional, such as a physiotherapist”.

If you are considering changing your footwear, or are having problems with recurrent injuries with your current pair, it may be an idea to book an appointment with a physiotherapist to have your running analysed.  Our physios can see you at a time and location convenient to you so get in touch today.

Post by Zoe Birch, Head of Orthopaedic Physiotherapy at Physiocomestoyou.