The Proper Fit

Hey there RYPEness!

This weather is finally starting to break…time to move that fitness routine OUTDOORS! If you live in a city like mine, road races for just about every charity you can think of are happening just about every weekend. From 5k’s to 10k’s to runs that cover you in colored paint or have free beer at the finish line (my personal favorites). Training for and participating in these events is a fun way to get in shape, meet cool people and get free t-shirts!

BUT!…before we start any of this, we should first make sure we are wearing the right running shoe. RYPE just had a Team Night at TrySports and one of their shoe experts gave us the 411 on getting the right shoe!

So, how do you know if you are wearing the right running shoe? Well….I have one question to ask:

Were you fitted in your running shoe by a representative at a specialty run store? Not Dicks. Not the Nike Store. Not Footlocker. A SPECIALTY RUNNING STORE!

What do I mean by fitted? Did this person ask you a lot of questions, like:

  • how much running are you doing?
  • do you have any pains right now?
  • have you ever been injured?
  • are you training for something?

Did this person ask you to remove your shoes and pull out a trusty Brannock Device to measure your feet? Didn’t know that thing had a name did ya? Did they take a look at your arches? Did they actually put you on a treadmill or ask you to run outside so they could  watch how you run? Do you think that all of these things are necessary to get some shoes to run in? ABSOLUTELY!!! When you run, you put about 500 pounds of pressure on your feet…yes, YOUR LITTLE FEET! Don’t you think that ensuring they are properly “housed” and supported is a good idea?

So what does this little fitting reveal to a run shoe specialist? It will show if you are among 70% of folks who over-pronate when they run. This means that as you run and your weight transfers to one foot, your ankles roll inward. This in turn causes unnecessary stress on your big toe and can lead to various injuries.

Getting a running shoe that has arch support will prevent that ankle from rolling inward. Brooks Adrenaline, Mizuno Wave Inspire,  or Asics Gel-Kayano are great support/stability shoe options.

You might also find that you supinate or under-pronate. This means that as you run, your ankles don’t roll in at all and you are actually putting most of the pressure on the outsides of your feet and smaller toes. This can also lead to injury.

Getting a neutral shoe with a lot of cushion can prevent this from happening. Brooks Glycerin, Mizuno Wave Rider, or Asics Gel-Nimbus are good options.

Ideally we want a neutral running gait, meaning that our foot is not rolling overly inward or outward when we run. Since the majority of us have one of the aforementioned issues, it will require that we get the right shoe to help correct this…thus preventing some of these common running injuries:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis
    Plantar fasciitis, small tears or inflammation of the tendons and ligaments that run from your heel to your toes, is usually the top foot complaint among runners. The pain, which typically feels like a dull ache or bruise along your arch or on the bottom of your heel, is usually worse first thing in the morning. Runners with very high or very low arches are vulnerable because both foot types cause the plantar fascia to be stretched away from the heel bone. Other causes are extreme pronation (foot rolls inward excessively) or supination (foot rolls outward excessively) and increasing your mileage too quickly. Long periods of standing, especially on hard floors without supportive footwear, may exacerbate the problem.
  2. Shinsplints
    “Shinsplints” refers to medial tibial stress syndrome, an achy pain that results when small tears occur in the muscles around your tibia (shin bone). This makes up about 15 percent of running injuries. Shinsplints are common among new runners and those returning after an extended layoff. They’re a sign that you’ve done too much, too quickly OR you are wearing the wrong shoe.
  3. Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)
    The iliotibial (IT) band lies along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. When you run, your knee flexes and extends, which causes the IT band to rub on the side of the femur. This can cause irritation if you take up your mileage too quickly, especially if you’re doing a lot of track work or downhill running. ITBS makes up 12 percent of all running injuries. Runners who develop ITBS may overpronate, have a leg-length discrepancy, or suffer from weak hip abductor and gluteal muscles.


In the words of Sweet BrownAINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!

So there you have it! There really is a method to the specialty run store madness. And believe it or not, there is a reason why you should go ahead and spend the extra money to go to one of these stores to get fitted and purchase a pair of shoes. I can guarantee that the extra $30-$40 you spend on shoes is a lot less than the money you will spend in doctor co-pays to fix the resulting issues.

Think about it….

Happy Running RYPEness!!





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