Picking the Right Running Shoe…Your Guide to Fitness Happiness Col Tom Duquette MS, PT, SCS, ATC Today’s Agenda: Introduction The Basics Foot Type – The Wet Test Shoe Anatomy Shoe Types Shoe/Foot Match Shoe Maintenance/Fit Training Tips Resources Questions Introduction The “miracle” of the foot: Combination of 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments, and a network of tendons, nerves, and blood vessels All work together to establish the graceful synergy involved in running Balance, support, and propulsion of a runner's body all depend on the foot Before entering a running program make sure your body's connection with the ground is in good shape The Basics Running shoes should be selected carefully. Factors to weigh when looking for a new shoe include: Past experience with shoes Current Problems Biomechanical Needs Environmental Factors Running and Racing Requirements The Basics Consider ground reaction forces = 3-4x BW/step Failing to replace worn shoes is a major cause of running injuries Estimate mileage at somewhere between 600 to 800 miles or 6-8 months whichever comes first Most individuals should be replace their shoes before they show major wear Don’t be fooled by cosmetics: the shoe will be gradually lose its shock absorption/stability The Wet Test 1) Pour a thin layer of water into a shallow pan The Wet Test 2) Wet the sole of your foot. The Wet Test 3) Step onto a shopping bag or a blank piece of heavy paper. The Wet Test 4) Step off and look down. The Wet Test Observe the shape of your foot and match it with one of the following foot types Knowing your foot type is the first step toward finding the right shoe for you Other variables such as your weight, biomechanics, weekly mileage, and fit preferences come into play The Wet Test Normal (medium) Arch See about half of your arch Most common foot type and are considered “normal” pronators Can wear just about any shoe may be best suited to a stability shoe that provides moderate arch support (or medial stability) Lightweight runners with normal arches may prefer neutral-cushioned shoes without any added support… or even a performance-training /race shoe that offers some support but less heft, for a faster feel The Wet Test Flat (low) Arch See almost your entire footprint You have a flat foot, which means you're probably an overpronator That is, a micro-second after footstrike, your arch collapses inward too much, resulting in excessive foot motion and increasing your risk of injuries Pronation Explained When you run or walk, you land on the outside edge of your foot and roll inward. This entirely normal inward rolling is called pronation. Some runners roll inward too much. This excessive inward rolling is called overpronation. Overpronation decreases the limb’s ability to absorb shock Normal pronation is a good thing! The Wet Test You need either stability shoes Feature dual-density midsoles, supportive "posts" best for mild to moderate overpronators… Or motion-control shoes, which have firmer support devices, & straight external last Best for severe overpronators, as well as heavy (over 165 pounds), or bow-legged runners The Wet Test High Arch See just your heel, the ball of your foot, and a thin line on the outside of your foot You have a high arch, the least common foot type This means you're likely an underpronator, or supinator Can result in too much shock traveling up your legs, since your arch doesn't collapse enough to absorb it; prone to more ankle sprains The Wet Test Underpronators are best suited to neutral-cushioned, curved lasted shoes Need a softer midsole to encourage pronation. Vital that an underpronator's shoes have no added stability devices to reduce or control pronation Avoid Stability or Motion Control shoes! Shoe Anatomy Outer Last: The template or model upon which the shoe is built Different manufacturers use different lasts Semi-curved: most common Straight: for flat feet/overpronators Curved: for high arched, rigid feet Shoe Anatomy Inner Last: Slip lasted shoes are frequently good for high arched feet looks like a sewn moccasin Board Lasted shoes suggested for overpronators Piece of board material from heel to toe Combination lasted shoes are supposed to offer the best of both worlds stability in the rearfoot and flexibility in the forefoot Board in rear, slip last in front Shoe Anatomy Outer Last: The template or model upon which the shoe is built Outer-Sole: The outermost part of the sole, which is treaded On running shoes the tread is designed for straight ahead motion Court shoes and cross trainers have their tread optimized for lateral or side-to-side stability poor choice for running Shoe Anatomy Outer Last: The template or model upon which the shoe is built. Different manufacturers use different lasts Outer-Sole: The outermost part of the sole, which is treaded Upper: The uppermost part of the shoe. This part encompasses your foot and has the laces Shoe Anatomy External heel counter: A plastic device that wraps around the rearfoot and stabilizes it This reduces overpronation, increases rearfoot control, and maintains the integrity of the heel counter You need it if: You're a severe overpronator (your feet roll inward excessively after heelstrike) and/or a heavy runner who breaks down heel counters quickly Shoe Anatomy Stability post: A device molded into the sidewall of the midsole to promote greater foot stability Known by a variety of trade names such as Diagonal Rollbar (Brooks), Graphite Rollbar (New Balance), Footbridge (Nike), and Support Bridge (Reebok) You need it if: You overpronate or need a shoe that reduces side-to-side foot motion and increases rearfoot control and support. Shoe Anatomy Dual-density midsole: The use of two different densities of midsole foam, with a firmer density on the medial (inner) side of the shoe to reduce pronation The firmer density is usually a darker color, and can extend from the rearfoot to the midfoot, or occasionally the full length of the medial side You need it if: Your feet overpronate. A dual density midsole will stabilize your feet and reduce excessive inward roll Shoe Anatomy Midsole: The portion between the upper and the outer-sole This is the area whose major contribution to the shoe is shock absorption Sockliner: This is the usually removable liner inside the shoe Has a bit of an arch and usually some shock absorbing material incorporated into it- - not very effective Proper Footwear Shoe choice should be determined by: foot structure = morphology foot function = over or under pronated or neutral foot) body type = weight running environment and running regimen Shoe Types Cushioned Shoes You should wear cushioned shoes if: you are a runner who needs maximum midsole cushioning… and minimum medial (arch-side) support These shoes are best suited for biomechanically efficient runners (you don't overpronate), and midfoot or forefoot strikers Runners who do best in cushioned shoes often have moderate to high arches Shoe Types Motion Control Shoes You should wear motion-control shoes if: you are a runner who overpronates moderately to severely Motion-control shoes will give you maximum rearfoot control and extra support on the medial (arch) side of the foot Motion-control shoes are also best suited for big or heavy runners who need plenty of support and durability These runners often have low arches (flat feet) Shoe Types Performance Training/Race Shoes You should wear performance-training shoes if: You are a runner who wants a light, well-balanced shoe suitable for racing, speedwork, or daily training These shoes are best-suited for fast, efficient runners who want to train in them Moderate overpronators can also train and race in some of these shoes Shoe Types Stability Shoes You should wear stability shoes if: You are a runner who needs medial (archside) support and good midsole cushioning These shoes are best suited for runners who are mild to moderate overpronators, and/or need added support and durability Shoe Types Trail Shoes You should wear trail shoes if: You are a runner who frequently runs offroad, and are looking for rugged shoes with great outsole traction… and some weather- and water-resistant qualities Many trail shoes are built low-to-theground for added stability on rough trails Shoe Summary Flat Foot Straight Last outsole Board last insole Dual density midsole External heel counter Stability Post High Arch Foot Curved Last outsole Slip Last insole “Gel”, “Air”, or other shock absorbing midsole materials - More Show Business than Shoe business out there, don’t buy the hype! - Avoid Fashion Brands - Name brand running shoe at moderate price - Skip bells and whistles Shoe Maintenance/Fit A shoe's midsole only lasts so long. Life expectancy 6-8 mo’s or 600-800 miles whichever comes first This means that if you are running 20 miles a week, you should consider changing by ~ 20 to 25 weeks Retire old shoes for casual wear or walking Shoe Maintenance/Fit Sole wear: Does not necessarily reflect the loss of shock absorption by a shoe Don’t be fooled be cosmetics “Shoo Goop” doesn’t work Length: Make sure there is about a finger's width at the front of the shoe This will help prevent runner's (black) toe Shoe Maintenance/Fit Width: The widest part of the shoe should be at the widest part of your foot. Shoe Maintenance/Fit Lacing: Make sure you carefully lace your shoe before running Too tight a shoe may make parts of the top of your foot sore or squeeze your metatarsals too tightly Too loose a shoe may make your foot move excessively and be less stable Training Tips Systematic exercises must progress slowly from easy to rigorous to prevent debilitating muscle strain or more serious injury The best and safest way to start a running program is with a four-day-perweek conditioning program for 12-16 weeks Training Tips Begin with two sets of two-minute jogs interspersed with five minutes of fast walking If muscles are stiff, walk only; have an "easy day" if you're in pain As the weeks progress, gradually increase the number of minutes jogged per set to 20 minutes Spend at least five workouts at each new level attained Training Tips By the 16th week, you should be able to run two sets of 20 minutes each, with a fiveminute walk before, between, and after Make adjustments for heat and altitude, and don't be frustrated if you think your pace is too slow The best way to avoid injury is to avoid the "terrible twos": too much, too soon, too fast, too often Ice is your friend, 10 min on repeat hourly PRN Training Tips Proper foot hygiene can also prevent injuries Keeping feet powdered and dry is important, especially to minimize blisters Blisters can be limited by wearing socks that wick moisture This strategy can also help prevent athlete's foot Training Tips Start easy. Run at a speed that meets the "talk test" - that you can carry on a conversation with a companion Build up time and intensity gradually Wear sport specific shoes not crosstraining, walking or tennis shoes for running “You can walk in a running shoe but cannot run in a walking shoe” Resources http://www.aapsm.org/runshoe.html QUESTIONS?