The shoes you run in play a key role in your comfort, performance and preventing injuries.
Inappropriate, ill-fitting or worn-out running shoes could increase your risk of injury to the lower
The key features to look for in a running shoe are:
- A firm heel counter (back of a shoe)
- A stable shank (the belly of a shoe) that doesn’t twist or bend in half
- A forefoot which bends at the ball of the foot
- A toebox with adequate width and depth for your toes
- Correct size and fit. A specialist running shoe store can assist with this. Shoes which are too tight
can cause blistering and too loose can increase your risk of injury.
- Heel pitch, which is the elevation of the heel within the shoe. This ranges between 0 and 12mm in
most athletic shoes. The best pitch for you will depend on your running technique, experience, and
injury status. A higher heel pitch may be more beneficial if you are new to running or exhibit a heel
strike technique. A lower heel pitch may be better suited to a forefoot striker.
Most reputable shoe brands offer a range of supportive running shoes.
‘Stability’ shoes are designed for those with a pronated (flat) foot type whereas 'Neutral' shoes are
designed for those with a neutral or supinated (high arched) foot type. If you are unsure which
support is most appropriate for your feet, visit a specialist running shoe store. If you are concerned
your feet are rolling in or out too much, have had injuries in the past, or are experiencing pain when
you are running, consult with a Podiatrist before purchasing new shoes.
Most running shoes will last between 800-1200kms. A light-weight or minimalist running shoe will
wear quicker than a more supportive shoe with a thicker sole. Be sure to check the outersole for
wearing through the rubber and the midsole for compression lines or wrinkles. These are signs that
your shoes may need replacing. If you are running or training multiple times a day you may want to
rotate your shoes to extend their life.
Finally, if you are thinking of purchasing a new pair of shoes, be sure to allow enough time to train in
them first, you don’t want to be breaking your shoes in on race day.
For professional advice regarding footwear, running technique, or foot pain, it is best to consult with
a Sports Podiatrist who will be able to tailor your treatment to your needs. Contact Sydney West
Sports Medicine on 02 98515959 or at swsm.com.au
Amelia Hofer – Sports Podiatrist