Now that you are coming to camps daily and focusing on your eating habits, you might be noticing an increased interest in caring for your whole body. Congratulations, you are on the burn train! We want you to know that we are here to support you and guide you in this journey. One question we have been receiving a lot lately is, “what type of shoe should I be wearing?”This is a great question and one that can be rather puzzling if you don’t know exactly where to start. But lets think about it this way, your shoes are essentially providing your foundation, if you don’t have a solid foundation, everything above it will be affected in one way or another.
Having the right shoe for your activity can help to protect you from nasty things like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, back injuries, hip and joint pain, etc. Lucky for us, running and workout shoes have come a long way in the past twenty years. You could say the technology has really made great STRIDES!
One thing many individuals don’t know, is that choosing the right running or workout shoe is not a one size fits all decision. As unique individuals, we each have different foot shapes, different ankle movements, and different patterns of how our foot hits the ground. The best (and easiest!) thing you can do to choose the right shoe for you is to visit a shoe store that offers gait analysis.
What is gait analysis? Well, it’s a simple process where the store representative will ask you to walk slowly on a treadmill with a camera angled at your feet. From watching the exact way your legs and feet are connecting with the ground, and a description of the types of activities you will be performing, they can determine what type of shoe will be able to provide you with exactly what you need. Without a proper running style or gait analysis, the need for a specialty shoe can go unnoticed and lead to painful issues down the road.
Be sure to clarify what you’re planning to use your shoes for! High support shoes can be great for individuals with joint pain or high mileage running. Low ‘toe to heal drop’ shoes can help to keep a flat foot for squatting, lunges, and dead lifts. And don’t be afraid to try on! Try, try, try! Your shoes, while being suited for your needs, also need to feel comfortable. There are so many shoes out there, and there will be one that protects you, makes you feel great, and looks fabulous in the process. Here are some common terms you might hear throughout your search:
Neutral – Even cushioning and support throughout the sole of the shoe.
Support level – Difference in level of support or amount of cushioning in the midsole (foam like layer) and outsole (bottom layer) of shoe.
Toe to heal ratio- Offset in millimeters between height of heel to the height of toe on the sole of the shoe. This essentially means how flat your foot will lie in the shoe. Also referred to as the “drop” of the shoe
Stability – Shoe with increased firmness on the inside or mid part of the sole to help stabilize and support foot, arch, and ankle for individuals who have over pronation during their gait analysis
Pronation – the inward movement of your ankle during walking/running. Over pronation-is when the ankle moves too far in this direction, causing alignment issues for your knees and hips and heightening your risk of injury.
Below are a few great options in each category. Keep in mind that all of these are updated and improved every year, so if you had a bad experience in one version don’t be afraid to try a updated version in the future:
Neutral: High support – (for high mileage runners or individuals with joint issues) Brooks- Glycerin, Nike- Vomero, Hoka- Bondi, Saucony- Triumph, New Balance- 1080.
Neutral: Middle level support – (For light mileage runners, Cross Training individuals, Athletic training)
Brooks- Ghost or Pure Flow, Saucony- Kinvara, New Balance- Zante or Boracay, Altra- Torin, Nike- Free or Free Distance.
Neutral: Minimal support – (Primarily for strength training, gym work, short runs)
Altra-The One, Nike- Metcon, Reebok- Nano, Brooks- Pure Connect, New Balance- Minimus
Stability: (For runners or individuals with fallen arches, weak ankles, new or deconditioned runners)
Brooks- Adrenaline, Nike- Structure or Lunarglide, Saucony- Guide or Hurricane, Hoka- Constant, New Balance- 1260, Asics- Kayano or GT2000
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