How many times have you walked into a shoe store and been bombarded with questions about your arch type, running style and whether or not you pronate? Life was so much simpler when all you had to choose between was velcro or laces and your biggest concern was whether the shoes would light up when you walked. Not that all these questions are a bad thing’after all, you do want shoes that will help you run, walk and go about your day as comfortably as possible. But when it comes to everyday running, are specialized shoes really the right way to go?
A post this morning on the New York Times Well Blog questions whether assigning people shoes based on their foot type can actually help to reduce injuries. Writer Gretchen Reynolds explains that the military had been analyzing foot shape in order to lower the chances of their recruits being injured during training. While it seemed like a great idea at the time, a recent military study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that assigning shoes to participants based on their particular arch type (high, medium or low) actually had little influence on injuries and may have even increased their odds of getting hurt.
‘You can’t simply look at foot type as a basis for buying a running shoe,’ Dr. Bruce H. Jones, senior author of the military studies, told the New York Times. But where does that leave the consumer when you’re standing in front of a wall of trainers, trying to choose the best pair?
The bottom line is that you have to listen to your body. If a shoe isn’t comfortable when you try it on and do a little in-store jogging (as silly as you may feel), then it’s not the shoe for you. Be sure to try on several pairs’regardless of what shape your foot is’and see what feels the most comfortable. After all, nothing ruins a good run more than sore feet!
What do you look for in a good running shoe?