Most people believe that one should select their running shoes based on comfort. But if you ask a sports physiotherapist, you’ll learn that there are a lot of factors to consider before buying a pair. You see, many shoe stores do not have trained staff who can properly identify a client’s foot type and the right running shoes to offer them.
When running, your feet absorb up to three times your body weight each time you stride and land. So you need protective footwear to help cushion your feet from the impact and prevent injuries. The right pair of running shoes can also influence your athletic performance. On the other hand, the wrong pair can increase your risk of not only foot pain but also knee, hip, and lower back pain.
For Dubai physio experts, these are the things to keep in mind before hitting the shoe store.
1. What is your foot type?
Nowadays, running shoes are designed to suit a specific gait and arch type. Those with normal to medium arches are less prone to common injuries, so they can wear a wide range of running shoes. Stability shoes are a common choice considering that it can provide minimal to moderate arch support. Those with higher arches are prone to shock-related injuries, therefore they need running shoes that offer higher levels of cushioning. Meanwhile, people with flat feet require shoes with a firm midsole to improve stability. Foot orthotics are prescribed if the shoes do not provide the special arch support a person needs.
2. What type of running will you do?
The way your run changes the amount of force that goes into your feet. If you’re going to use your pair for daily runs, make sure to choose something moderately-cushioned and made with durable, high-quality materials. Those who do sprints or interval training can use lightweight running shoes, which are made with less cushioning but allows for greater flexibility. If you have to run on rough terrain, you’ll need a pair of trail running shoes. It usually has lugged soles for superior traction and has a tough upper to protect the ankle. You may consult a foot physiotherapy clinic if you’re not sure about the type of shoes you need for a certain activity.
3. How to pick the right size?
Wearing a pair of shoes that don’t have the right fit may cause blisters, corns, calluses, and bunions. These skin conditions not only cause discomfort or pain but also affect the performance of runners. When trying on shoe size, make sure there’s a thumb’s width of space between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe. Your feet swell and expand when running, so 1 to 1.5cm of toe room is ideal. It may be best to wear the same socks you use for running when fitting. In addition, jog around the store to get a feel of how the shoe fits while you’re in motion.
If you’re still not sure what your foot type is, or if you’re experiencing foot or ankle pain, consult with the experts at Scandinavian Physiotherapy Center JLT Dubai. We’ll assess your foot type, gait, and running style, and give you recommendations on what to look for in running shoes, regular shoes, and more! Call us now at +971 4 551 6126.