Are your shoes worn out? (If you use your shoes for walking or running 3 or more times per week you should be looking to change your shoes about every 9 months with 12 months being the cut off. The cushioning in most running shoes compresses over time and the shoe will no longer offer genuine shock absorption.
2. Are they the right size? Shoe sizes (like clothes) differ greatly from brand to brand and your European size has no bearing on your size in running shoes. Most running shoe brands run off US sizing which is different from Australian/European sizing. Black toenails are an obvious tell-tale sign that your shoes are too small and blisters on the medial arch of your feet can be a result of movement inside of a shoe that’s too big.
3. Is the level of support right for you? There are different “foot types” some of us have high arches, some flat, some wide feet, some narrow and so on. The best shoe manufacturers build and design their ranges with this in mind and it is a good thing, however if you are in a shoe that has too much or too little support it can lead to certain imbalances that can create injuries.
4. Are your shoes suitable for the kind of running you do? As well as being made to suit different types of feet, running shoes also vary to suit different types of running. If most of your running is slow to medium jogging over 10km plus distances on hard surfaces then a more sturdy and well cushioned shoe is required. Whereas, if you do more shorter faster running on a track or grass/dirt surface then a lighter/firmer shoe will perform better (if you do a bit of both then it’s sensible to have more than 1 pair) Here’s a couple of good ways to think about it.
- What kind of car would you choose for a long drive? – most likely something comfortable with plenty of room and nice forgiving suspension….. and for some hot laps on the track? Something a little tighter and lighter with “more feel” and firmer suspension.
- One for the golfers here…do you hit every golf shot with the same club? Obviously not! The same applies to running shoes. There is no “one shoe” for every type of running.
Generally speaking you should apply this kind of thinking to your footwear choices to ensure you are running in shoes that will provide the best performances for the type of running you are doing.
So if you are in the market for a new pair of shoes or are keen to find out if your current shoes are right for you, please pop in anytime and visit myself or Phil at the Sydney Running Centre. We have a combined total of over 30 years’ experience recommending and fitting shoes and as a subscriber of Jarrat’s blog you will receive a 10% off discount.
Sydney Running Centre