Looking for some new kicks?
Our ambassador Philita Wheeler is here to talk about what type of shoe you should use.
A while back, someone asked me why I change my shoes before running on the treadmill or outside. It never occurred to me that this wasn’t common practice for everyone.
I carry multiple shoes in my gym bag and have been doing this for so long that it’s just a normal habit. However, I realize that not everyone shares in this knowledge and/or routine.
Everyday lifting/training shoes and running shoes serve completely different roles and I want to take a moment to explain the differences between them.
Running vs. Training Shoes
Running shoes are built for heel-to-toe movement and have added support and cushioning. (Technical term is a higher heel drop.)
Whereas Training shoes are for multi-directional movement, especially lateral (side-to-side) movement. The soles are usually flatter to allow a wider range of movement. You do not want that capability in your running shoes because they help with forward movement.
- Running shoes are meant for running ONLY. I do not use them for other workouts, nor even to walk in.
- Training shoes, on the other hand, are more versatile and can be used in the gym and on cardio machines.
The risks of wearing an improper shoe can be as simple as a blister or as complicated as injuries like stress fractures. Think of it this way, if you pound the pavement day in and day out in a non-cushioned shoe, your feet absorb all of that shock. Not just your feet, but your knees, hips, and even lower back.
Listen to the Experts
I sought the expertise of John Glenn High School Track and Field Coach, Doug Joy, who has a long list of wins, State qualifiers, and accolades himself. As current president of Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches, (OATCCC) Coach Joy also stresses the importance of proper footwear to all athletes.
How often to Buy New Shoes?
He recommends changing out running shoes every 300 miles for injury prevention and to stick with the same brand of shoes throughout the season. He noted that some of the athletes who do change midway through the season, develop issues.
What Brand to Buy?
As for a good quality running shoe, he is a fan of Asics and Brooks, and ironically, I only wear Brooks for running.
Coach Joy works with hundreds of athletes and sees the above mistakes made often. Luckily, I started off my running career in his program, so I have had this awareness since high school.
Often, other athletes will mention that their knees hurt, or have a foot issue. I always chime in that their shoes could be a possible culprit and to check that out first!
Either way, you won’t go wrong by investing in good, quality shoes. Take it from myself, and renowned Coach Joy, who have seen too many injuries from not following this simple advice. By being aware of this, you can save yourself injuries and keep pushing yourself to your next goal!
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