Finding the correct running and walking shoes

Finding the correct running shoe

Ill fitting shoes are the primary cause of many medical problems including corns, hammer toes, ingrown toenails, and bunions.  Your feet are counting on your shoe to protect your feet from hazards on the ground and to cushion your stride. The right shoe will also compensate for any imbalances in your form and keep you balanced. Many people buy shoes that are too small since they don’t factor in the spread of the foot when it strikes the surface of the ground.

Since there are so many factors involved in choosing the proper shoe, it’s best to turn to the experts.  There are shoe stores that specialize in running shoes and they may be your best bet in getting the correct shoe for your feet.  Be sure to consider the following: how far and often you run and on what surfaces. Make sure you walk around as much as possible before purchasing since you want to be sure the shoes don’t feel too tight or too loose.  Be sure to keep track of the date of purchase so that you don’t keep running shoes longer than six months or more than 500 miles.  As a final note, price does not necessarily indicate the quality of the shoe.

If you’re a walker…

There is a difference between walking shoes and running shoes.  The main distinction is the way the foot meets the ground.  In walking, the heel connects first then the foot rolls, lifting off the ground from the toes.  In running, the foot connects with the pavement either flat-footed or with the forefoot.  Walking shoes should have enough cushion to lessen the impact but not too much to make the shoe heavy during long walks.  Walking shoes should also have more flexibility at the forefoot for the roll.

Running is a high-impact sport and the shoes should have more cushion on the surface that connects with the ground.  This is why there is a flared heel on running shoes.  The part of the foot that impacts the ground first varies by individual.  Running shoes should also be flexible, but the point of most flexibility needed is determined by the point of impact of the individual runner.