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Should you alternate your shoes?

Should you have more than two pairs of shoes?

A general rule of thumb should be to purchase a new set of running shoes at least once a year. If you are doing 20km or less a week of running, then one pair of shoes a year may suffice. If you are a regular runner or training for the longer events, then you should be looking at having at least 2 pairs of shoes on the go at any given time. These shoes should not be identical and should be purchased at different times and be dedicated to specific training sessions.

alternatingshoes2Have two different shoes

Running is a very repetitive movement performed in a relatively limited range of motion and for extended periods of time. Some chronic injuries can develop simply from the foot being in the same structured and shaped shoe for every run. Using a different running shoe during the week creates different stresses on the feet. This reduces the chance of a repetitive strain injury. The second shoe can have the same type of features, but will mold slightly differently to the foot allowing very subtle changes to the muscle use. E.g. high mileage runners

Plastic memory

There is a theory that plastic deformation occurs to the cushioning compound following each run. It’s a well-known fact that running exerts 5-8 times your body weight and a significant amount of ground reaction force occurs with each step. Deformation is bound to occur to the cushioning. Rotating the shoes you use may allow this cushioning to ‘regenerate’ ready for the next use.

Use lighter weight shoes for speed & races

When you run faster your running form usually becomes more coordinated and efficient. You don’t need to have the same amount of support & cushioning under your feet. In fact, the more you have, the faster you are likely to fatigue. Light weight running shoes, racer trainers, and racing shoes are all designed to allow easier flow of our running, with little effort at toe off. E.g. light weight trainer/racers.


Choosing a shoe should be related to the surface on which you run. Trail running shoes are a classic example of being specifically designed for the more rugged terrain. The outsole has more tread than road running shoes to cope with the mud & rocks, and the midsole is usually lower to the ground so the foot can adapt more quickly to the changing surface. Track runners need to be in more flexible shoes in order to cope with the constant circular motion. Wearing a chunky midsole while doing speed on the track, significantly hinders the foots ability to move. Similarly, cross country shoes need to be light weight and more flexible, again to cope with the uneven surface and more frequent turns.

Wet weather alternative

There is nothing more frustrating than a wet pair of shoes. Not only will you increase the chance of blisters, but the pungent smell of a wet running shoe combined with sweaty feet is something that will drive you to the dog house. Allowing your shoes at least 36-48hrs drying time will also increase the lifespan of your shoe by allowing the plastic memory (mentioned above) to regenerate and be ready for your next run.

When do you buy the second shoe?

If you are considering a second shoe for training, and your main reason is to vary what you wear, purchase the shoe 1-2 months after the first. This means that you should never be caught out with an old pair of shoes.

How do you know which shoe to buy?

Ask the experts!! The staff at intraining are knowledgeable and have tried and tested many different shoes. Our trained staff will analyse your running style outside in a variety of similar shoes to ensure you are wearing the most suitable and comfortable for your running gait.

You can also refer to the footwear matrix on the intraining website. This is particularly helpful if you need to branch into a second training shoe. The matrix clearly shows similar shoes in each brand by stability and the weight.

By Margot Manning
intraining podiatrist, coach and runner

Mid season maintenance

Mid Season Maintenance


With running season well and truly underway, you might notice some aches and pains starting to emerge. As your long runs become longer you will likely feel that it is taking longer to recover. Taking caring of your body now, gives you your best chance of lining up to start your upcoming goal race.

  • Step 1: Roll, stretch, massage. Do all the things you know you should now, before minor issues become major problems. It’s a useful strategy to foam roll muscles immediately after a run, then follow up with a few minutes of stretching. This has been shown to improve recovery time, and may help reduce injury. Regular sports massage can help identify possible injury risks before they materialise. If injuries do start to rear their heads, see step 2.
  • Step 2: Ice. Minor niggles can sometimes be settled down using ice packs after the run. Try to ice as soon after a run as possible, and additional times throughout the day if able. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid ice burns.
  • Step 3: Take it easy. Make sure you factor in easy runs (and even an easy week) to maximise your recovery. Improvement from training comes through proper recovery, not the actual running.
  • Step 4: Stop. If running gives you sharp pains and/or makes the pain worse you should stop running and have the injury assessed. Early intervention usually leads to faster recovery.
Bachelor of Podiatry (honours), Master of Physiotherapy Studies.
Bachelor of Podiatry (honours), Master of Physiotherapy Studies.

intraining Rehab Studio offer weekly Pilates and core strengthening classes designed specifically for runners, by runners.

Each Pilates session is conducted by our in house physiotherapist, which means that your health fund may cover your Pilates classes. Maximise your performance and avoid injury with a regular strength and conditioning program.

Childrens Footwear

Children’s Footwear – A Priceless Investment

Your children’s footwear is a priceless investment in their future. It’s important to purchase good quality shoes, and also ensure they are well-fitted.

childrenrunningSpending the time and money on your children’s feet and footwear during their younger years will reap many benefits throughout their schooling years and even into adulthood. Wearing good footwear will reduce their risk of short and long-term injury, and save from unexpected, expensive health practitioner bills.

Fit is the most important factor to consider, and you should seek out footwear stores with experienced fitting staff. Even if your child has the best shoes available, if they don’t fit properly then the benefits will be negligible. Your child should be able to try on the shoes, and the staff should provide comprehensive, sound, and unbiased advice. Your child will be much more likely to become involved and enjoy their physical activity if they’re wearing comfortable shoes. In this way, properly fitting shoes can provide benefits to your child’s physical and mental well-being. Ill-fitting shoes can cause discomfort for your child, and may also increase injury risk.

Put simply, big shoes are a trip hazard and therefore increase the risk of acute injury (eg. ankle sprain). Excessive muscle activation and overuse injury can also occur if your child is trying to stabilize their feet inside shoes that are too big and providing insufficient support or security. Jamming your child’s feet into shoes that are too small is also detrimental. Discomfort is the most common complaint when shoes are too small, but burning pain and tingling may back2schoolshoes1also be an issue in cases of nerve or vascular compression. Blisters, black toenails and other dermatological issues can eventuate from shoes either too big or too small.

Just like obtaining the proper fit is important, good quality shoes are worth the investment. Well-constructed shoes will be more durable and offer more reliable support and cushioning.

Shoes worn every day for school should ideally be used for that purpose only. Shoes with a leather upper are ideal because they are more durable and will withstand the rigors of lunch playtime.

If your child is a keen runner, you should treat them to a pair of running shoes. Running shoes will offer superior midsole cushioning and reduce the risk of overuse and impact-related injuries. The lighter-weight materials and breathable mesh upper will make you child’s running easier and more enjoyable.

Similarly, if your child plays a lot of field sports, then grass spikes or football boots may be worth considering. They will provide better traction and more appropriate support for their intended use. Having multiple pairs of shoes for different purposes will prolong their life.

Emily_Donkerintraining Running Centre stock a fantastic range of children’s running shoes, waffles and spikes, as well as black leather shoes suitable for school use. Invest some quality time and money on your kids school and running shoes at intraining Running Centre these holidays and ensure your children are ready to run into 2017.

By Emily Donker
intraining Podiatrist, Runner and Coach

Knee pain in teens

Knee Pain, Teens, & Pre-teens

Knee pain is a common injury affecting one third of adolescents and causing disruption to their sports training & performances. (Rathleff et al, BJSM, 2015) The most common knee injury is Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS).  Girls are affected more than boys and adolescent girls are also affected with ACL injuries 2-10 times more than boys.  (Myer, 2013).

Myer’s research paper also suggested that one of the major differences between girls & boys during a landing task was the overactivation of the quadriceps with decreased hip flexor activation in girls.  This led to an increase in rotational forces at the knee, called knee abduction moments.  Knee Abduction moments appear as a movement of the knee inwards or internally rotating over the planted foot.  (see image)  This is clearly visible during landing in volleyball, netball, and basketball.

kneeSports that involve cutting movements such as football and touch increase the force of Knee Abduction Moments (KAM) due to the higher speeds of landing and rotation in a single leg stance. The greater the increase in the KAM, the greater the risk of PFP & ACL injuries.

During maturation, boys had shown to have the opposite muscle activation to girls with an increased hip flexor activation.  This higher activation of hip flexor muscles in the body could potentially balance the quadriceps activation & limit rotational forces at the knee.  Myer also suggested that during maturation phases, girls with increased height and mass are more prone to earlier onset of PFPS.

Based on these findings and on the more widely known understanding of quadriceps involvement, students who are experiencing PFPS need to undertake a quad strength, and neuromuscular exercise plan. Most of these students will respond well to a specific & individualised program designed by a qualified health professional.  They also need to relearn jump landing strategies, cutting movements, and single leg movement patterns for their sport.  Sometimes other interventions such as footwear, and added support such as orthotics may be required if there are more specific anatomical and biomechanical issues.

A recent paper published this year in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that additional exercise sessions done at school helped increase the recovery time for PFPS in adolescents.  (Rathleff, 2015).  These can be conducted by the sports educator / trainer as part of the warm up routine with the team.  FIFA have thoroughly researched ways to reduce injury risk and have produced an exercise routine called FIFA 11+  that is readily accessible online.

As sports educators, coaches and trainers are usually the first person to recognise injury and or complaints of pain by adolescent sports girls & boys.  It is worth talking to the students, and referring them for further investigation with the view that they will be given an appropriate strength program.  Further helping them at training by including their exercises into the warm up routine is more likely going to keep your players on the field for longer and hopefully performing without pain, or with less pain throughout the season.

Margot_ManningAt intraining, we have a team of health professionals including podiatrists & physiotherapists who are experienced in treating sports related biomechanical injuries. Our clinicians understand the need to help students cope with the high loads of sporting commitments and injuries they experience. If you wish to discuss any concerns regarding injuries please contact us here.

Written by Margot Manning
Podiatrist, Level 2 Athletics Coach, Runner & Owner of intraining Running Centre
intraining Running Injury Clinic


1.    Rathleff, M., Roos, E.M., et al. Exercise during school hours when added to patient education improves outcome for 2 years in adolescent patellofmoral pain:  a cluster randomised trial.  Br J Sports Med 2015; 49:406-412
2.    Myer, D., Ford, K., et al.  high knee abduction moments are common risk factors for patellofemoral pain(PFP) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in girls:  IS PFP itself a predictor for subsequent ACL injury?  Br J Sports Med 2015; 49:2 118-122
3.     FIFA 11+