I came across a great article the other day posted by "Lower Extremity Review" (orginal article link at bottom). This article goes into explaining shoe structure and also what works best for which style of feet you have. Knowing a little more about shoe design and structure will allow you make a better decision when it come to buying new running shoes. It will also help you understand why some shoes are so expensive and others are not. Price does not mean it is a better shoe! Since the article is long I thought I might top five points from it for you.
Top five things to know about running shoes:
5) Barefoot, heel drop, and minimalist running shoes can lead to possible future problems if entered to quickly or without the proper knowledge (see a health specialist to determine if this is the best option for you). Most runners need a supportive shoe. Do not fall into a fad or trend when it comes to your body. The best prevention of injury is a pre-screening to make sure all your joints have the correct range of motion to allow you to run effectively.
4) Arch support should not be ignored. But if you already have orthotics then neurtal shoes should be bought. As silly as it might seem bring your orthotics with whe shopping to ensure they fit in your new shoes and are comfortable. Arch support is one of the main factors in shoe stability (second is 'last' style - see article).
3) Know your running style. Mid-foot, fore-foot, or heel stirkers all need cushioning, stability and felxiblity in different parts of the shoe. Knowing your running style will allow to to choose a shoe that is best suited in those areas of greater stress and load.
2) The right shoe will not make up for improper running styles. Numerous articles have illustrated that the best predictor of injury when it comes to running is ineffective training and improper running style. Join a club or group. Read online and get assessed by a health care professional to ensure that your running will do more good then harm.
1) FIT IS EVERYTHING! The midfoot structure of the running shoe is the most important parts for most runners (Get fitted at a proper running store by an expert). Most stores will allow you to walk but remember these are running shoes. If there is a treadmill in the store then get on it and take them for a test drive. After all you don't drive a new car off the lot just by choosing the colour! If you have a found a brand, shoe and style that works for you then before you buy the newer model be sure to ask what changes from last seasons shoe have been made, although the changes might be minor for some they might be enough to cause you an issue and therefore you might require a different shoe.
Lastly as Lance Armstrong said "It is not about the bike", perhaps is was about the drugs but in this case my final point is simple. Shoes will not make or break you weekend running career. However please remember that when you are running your entire body is affected from your toes to your nose. Being in proper alignment and having the correct posture and range-of-motion will allow you to activate and get the most out of every stride. From ankle and hip range of motion to glut and hamstring muslce length - all these factors will help prevent injury and improve your running. To determine if you are in fuctional shape and should start a running program always consult a health care practitioner or stop in the office at Kingston Chiropractic and Rehabilitation and we would be happy to discuss and provide you with some advice.