Thursday, April 11, 2013


I'm participating in this year's A-Z challenge, and so will be posting daily about a subject focusing on a letter of the alphabet.

Although I DO get a kick out of you, that's not what I mean today. Instead, I want to talk about shoes. 

In both my Couch to 5k and Bridge to 10k groups, people ask me all the time what brand of shoes they should buy. They see some they think are kind of cool and want to know if they should get them. I hate to burst their bubble, but I have to tell them the truth. 

Go to a reputable, specialized running store (not a big-box sports store), get your foot sized, and then have them analyze your gait. It's simple -- you'll run on a treadmill as you're videotaped. Then the salesperson will explain the ins and outs of how you run. If you have great form, you can buy a neutral shoe. But if you turn your ankles in while you run, you overpronate. Your foot continues to roll in while you should be pushing off, and this twisting can cause injuries. A good stability shoe will help with this. Supination means your foot doesn't roll in enough after striking. This, too, can lead to injuries. Having your gait analyzed will give you the information you need to make an informed decision about what type of shoe you need, and you'll have the opportunity to try on several brands of shoes that are exactly right for you. 

Don't be intimidated; it's interesting to see how you run and what shoe you need. If you don't want to buy them from the store, that's fine too. There are several online resources that you can purchase from, including Most places will let you actually run in the shoes for a specified period of time and if they don't work out, you can return them and try a different one. I've personally done this, with no problems at all. I'd bought one particular shoe, and at about 8 miles, I started getting hot spots and blistered. I took the shoes back, they let me try on some more, and I went home with a pair that I'm still wearing. 

Think of your running store as a handy source for all types of information. They are glad to be of service to you, and do their best to help. And then you'll come home not only with some kicks you love, but the ones that are perfect for your feet.

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