Don’t judge a shoe by its colour: how to choose the perfect shoe for you

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10 Sep

Don’t judge a shoe by its colour: how to choose the perfect shoe for you

Don’t judge a shoe by its colour: how to choose the perfect shoe for you

Doug James, intraining physiotherapist, podiatrist and runner

Buying new running shoes can be a challenge. A lot of clever marketing goes into making shoes look visually appealing, and giving flashy names to their cushioning materials. All of this can be quite overwhelming, so here are a few suggestions that can make the process easier.

Questions to ask before you start shopping

  • What will you use them for?:Do you run mainly on the road/footpath, forest trails, or on tartan track surfaces? Do you regularly run long distances (more than 10km), medium distances (5–10km) or shorter, faster intervals only?
  • What is your running technique?: When you run, do you land on your heel, midfoot or forefoot?
  • What is your anatomy?: Is your forefoot wide, narrow, or somewhere in between (and the same question applies to your heel shape)? Does your foot have lumps, bumps, or bunions?
  • What is your biomechanics?: Do your feet roll in (pronate), and if so, at what stage of gait? Do you need to fit an orthotic or other insert in your shoe? Are you currently injured or predisposed to certain injuries? (These questions may need the assistance of a podiatrist to answer).

What to look for when trying shoes on

  • Don’t worry about looks. The new shoes might not match your outfit, but being injured isn’t a good look either. Comfort should determine your shoe choice, not colour.
  • Ignore the brand. Being brand loyal can mean that you might miss out on a shoe that suits you better than one you currently own.
  • Forget the past. Companies are often tinkering with the design of their shoes. Some models have been around for more than 30 years (Nike Pegasus). During this time there have been ‘good’ and ‘bad’ models that may not have suited your feet. Remember, simply because it worked for you last year doesn’t mean that this year’s model will too.
  • Compare and contrast. Try at least three different shoes on, preferably from different brands. You might find yourself giving a second thought to a brand you hadn’t tried before. It’s also important to be able to run in the shoe before deciding—simply walking around a shop doesn’t reveal the shoe’s true character. Often running in two different pairs at the same time can really help make the decision easy.

Do you need help with shoe selection?

If you’re indecisive or injured, having a professional shoe fitting with an intraining podiatrist can help you find your perfect shoe, without the guesswork. For some runners, the podiatrist may also make small modifications to the shoe or insole to make it the perfect fit for you.

Come in and see us at the intraining Running Injury Clinic. For bookings, call 3367 3088 today or email [email protected]


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