Fix Your Kicks

Instead of spending $150 on new shoes, spend less than half of that on new soles or heels for your favorite pair.  Not a bad price for saving something you really like.  Plus, there’s no break-in period.

I constantly get clients and group exercise participants complaining that their shins hurt when they exercise.  My question to them is, “how old are your shoes?”  They think about it and respond by saying, “ya, they’re pretty old.” 

The #1 thing you need to worry about first is your feet.  They are the base that keeps your body upright and the root of hip and back issues.  How can they be linked?  Most issues start with your feet.  Keep in mind, you walk every day.  Your foot strikes and poor choice in shoes are a contributing factor to knee pain, hip pain, hip alignment and often times, back pain.  Every movement you make usually begins with your feet.  If you aren’t properly taking care of them, they may give you problems down the road.

To pick the correct shoe determine what type of foot you have.  Do you supinate or pronate?  You don’t need to go to a doctor to figure this out, however, if you are in need of orthotics, it is best to visit a chiropractor so they can properly diagnose your issue.  An easy way to self examine your foot is to step on a tile after having a shower.  If you see a lot of water where your arch would be, you pronate.  If you see no water where your arch would be, you supinate. 

Once you have established what type of foot you have, visit a store where you know the sales person will know what they’re talking about.  Examples are, Running Room and New Balance.  you may luck out at Sportcheck but most of the time they hire uneducated personnel.  Knowing the ins and outs of foot and body structure takes many years to learn and is often taught at a college/university level.

So how often should you be changing up your shoes? If you’re running  every day, you should be changing them every 3-6 months.  you can sometimes squeeze a year out of them but most shoes start to wear out pretty early.  If you’re only using them for classes or training, you can use them a bit longer.  The more bounding you are doing in your shoe, the more often you will need to change them up.  The technology in running shoes has come a long way since as little as 5 years ago.  Try not to think of what brand you want, but what shoe fits your foot the best.  Also, don’t buy the first ones you come across.  Buying shoes takes a long time and should be treated like buying a car.  This is your body you’re taking care of.  You wouldn’t throw bike tires on a car, so why would you treat your body any different?

Have a Fit Day!

Alexis Gradini, FLMP, CSEP-CPT, OFC