Even Casual Runners Need a Good Pair of Shoes

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guy-runningWhether part of a workout or weight-loss regimen or just for fun, even casual runners need to be well equipped with a good pair of shoes. Choosing running shoes with good support, flexibility, and above all an excellent fit is crucial for preventing injury, improving form, and maximizing even the most basic workout routine. In fact, casual runners arguably have an even greater need for a top-notch fit, since less conditioning, lower muscle stability, and a less practiced running form can increase the likelihood of injury and the aggravated effects of repetitive stresses.

Choose Shoes Equipped for Comfort and Stability

Whatever your level of training experience a good pair of running shoes should support and protect your feet while also maintaining maximum comfort and mobility. Poor footwear is often the cause of acute symptoms such as tendonitis and stress fracturing, but over time badly-fitting shoes can also cause a range of more generalized issues with the feet, knees, hips, and spine. When choosing a good pair of shoes, keep in mind that the main priority is effective absorption of repetitive impact. A well-designed shoe should be cushioned in the mid-foot and heel to assist energy absorption upon foot strike. It is also good to choose light-weight materials that are flexible enough to allow for natural foot movement while also providing superior breathability and a comfortable width throughout.

The Science of Running

For casual runner the biomechanics of movement are not generally first and foremost considerations; most people would rather spend their time enjoying the activity as a natural and innate skill that does not require a lot of thinking. However, even basic movement requires the complex interaction of many interconnected joints, muscles, and ligature that extends from the feet upward through the spine. Running engages three general phases:

  • Heel Strike: as the foot lands the entire weight of the body must be absorbed, either by the heel alone or supported by the architecture of the shoe’s heel.
  • Mid-Stance: During this phase the body transitions weight from the back to the front of the foot. Excellent arch support is crucial for supporting a natural rolling movement during this phase.
  • Toe-Roll: During this final stage the foot must become stiff in order to effectively push the body forward. A flexible shoe with a good fit that prevents excessive heel-sliding should make this movement natural and effortless.

For professional and serious runners the body more easily accommodates bodily movement throughout the workout, but well-designed shoes can help to mitigate beginner deficiencies in stance, form, and muscle tone. Careful choice of running shoes can help to avoid basic pains and aches, as well as more serious injuries caused by repetitive and poorly-placed stresses on the foot.

Foot-Friendly Over-the-Counter Prescriptions

Many retailers who specialize in comfort footwear also schedule fittings advised by orthopedic-trained professionals who can perform custom evaluations. These professionals observe the natural gait, accurately measure foot size, asses specific issues and recommend unique fits. In addition to providing advice about choosing a good running shoe, these professionals can offer recommendations for over-the-counter orthotics and other inserts to accommodate specific issues and discomfort. While many people find that foot, knee, hip and back pains prevent even basic walking and jogging, sometimes the right fit is all that is needed to get a would-be runner back on track.

A post published on behalf of Ms. Ella Gray. You may contact her at any time at ella.l.gray@gmail.com with any questions that you may have.

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