Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Running Starters - Arches

I can’t tell you how often I am asked to see why somebody's foot hurts after they start to exercise. They typical story goes as follows, “I decided I was going to get in shape so I decided I was going to start running. I went to (insert your local sporting goods store-even running stores) to get some shoes and they told me I needed these shoes (as they held them up). For my brother in law he took the advice of a friend to buy a nice $200 pair of cushioning/neutral running shoes. My neighbor was directed to $150 dollar cushioning/neutral running shoe. My wife was given a $120 motion control running shoe. The next thing I did was make them take their shoes off, roll up their pants, let me evaluate their foot then have them walk across the room a couple times as I evaluated their gait. Each time they had been given the wrong shoe. The next step was asking them to show me the last running shoe they used and if it caused foot pain. Each time they said the old pair was fine, was the right shoe for their foot (chose them just by luck of the draw) and usually cost less. I then taught them a bit about running shoes and what to look for when they specifically bought a shoe for their foot not their friend’s foot.
Two weeks after my neighbor asked me for advice he came up to me at church excited that his foot pain was gone and the pair he bought cost him $70 instead of $150. To better understand your foot and what type of shoes there are I have included numerous links below. Spend some time learning about shoes and looking at your past shoes for tread wear. If you have any question you can go into one of the local running stores. I do however recommend you be careful. Two of my three examples went to the local specialty running stores and were directed to the wrong type of shoe for their foot. I have found if you have the owner of the store or at least the manager evaluate your foot on their treadmill you can get the better selection. Some of the newer employees may be a little inexperienced and in my anecdotal experience have led to most of the bad outcomes. For the store owners, I highly recommend you train these new workers better so I don’t have to keep seeing customers with foot pain and then having to recommend they return their shoes due to bad advice.
Assignment for this week: Read through all the links I have posted and go in and read some more. Find out what type of shoe you need then go out and get it. It doesn’t need to be expensive. Zappo’s has a great link to the different types of shoes you need with ballpark price ranges. I would then take this information and go to the local specialty running store (Wasatch front stores links area below). You can go in with your list for shoes in your price range, try them on, run on the treadmill with slow motion video evaluation to see if they work. In two weeks we will go over more equipment you may need.

Types of Shoes: http://www.zappos.com/running-shoe-fit-guide: Great pictorial guide to different foot types and shoes needed for each.
Neutral/Cushioning: Supinators=Have a tendency to roll to outside of foot
Motion Control: Severe Pronators=Flat Feet
Stability: Pronators=Feet are not flat but when walk collapse on the inside of foot
REI has a great link for you to read through to better understand what kind of foot you have. See link: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/running-shoes.html.
Great video review of shoe selection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN01PGwpMa8
Good video to on shoe selection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJJN3zBPeeg
Running Stores on the Wasatch Front:

Dr. Douglas Roland Smith is a graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Chief Medical Officer of Arches Health Plan.

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