How your shoes fit can determine whether you run a new personal best or go hobbling off the course with stress fractures. It can determine whether your workout is a success or you roll an ankle due to improper support.
Which brands are best? How different is a walking shoe from a running shoe? Why shouldn’t you wear a crosstraining shoe on a basketball court? Join me on a short adventure into Shoeville to talk about which shoe is good for you and your workouts.
What To Shoe
So I’m gonna get straight to the point. The reason why you wouldn’t’ want to wear a walking shoe to run is for the simple reason that they are too heavy. A walking shoe is designed to cushion your foot and isn’t designed for speed.
On the other hand, there are a running shoe is meant to be lightweight and they normally offer little to no support which is why you wouldn’t really want to wear a true* running shoe for very long.
Some shoes aren’t meant to last, but then there are cross trainers. Those are shoes that are normally designed with a little more cushion for the foot while having some ankle support. They can vary in the amount of arch support, but they’ll all definitely have more than say a basketball shoe which is only designed to help support the ankles.
How Do You Roll?
There are four things your foot does 99% of the time when you’re moving :
- Stay neutral
Now, first things first. Most actually move with a combination of these four. The important thing, however, is how the foot “strikes” or lands on the ground. Sometimes people have a problem with the first three and that’s when it’s good to strength train your feet. There are a lot of different ways to do this and they all depend on what time of foot strike you have. In the meantime, I would suggest that at a minimum you buy sneakers that support you whether you supinate, pronate, or overpronate
How Long Should We Go?
How long you keep your shoes around depends on a few factors. First, how many shoes are you wearing to work out? If it’s the same pair, you can expect them to last about 4-6 months if you’re working out 3x/week.
If you’re a runner, you should look for your shoes to last you 500-750 miles and you should ALWAYS have a rotation. Never wear the same running shoes two days in a row. The shoes work better when they have time to breathe and retake their shape.
Now here’s a secret that a friend taught me that was confirmed by my meeting with the ultra running champion Anthony Kunkel late last year. That little open hole you are leaving open in your running shoes?? There’s actually a purpose for them.
They are a part of what’s called an arch lock. I unforuntately, can’t explain it to you in a blog post, but for the most part, the arch lock secures your foot into place preventing it from rolling around in your shoe. I can probably show you better than I can explain it. So feel free to get in touch about it.
So now you know a little more about footwear. The brands don’t really matter, except for Nike. Their sole has gotten considerably thinner over the years. Other than that, every shoe is different and the only all-around shoe that I personally recommend is Brooks.
If you want to learn more about proper footwear or training in general, please reach out to me via email or in the comment area below.
Jerry “good foot” Washington