Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Get.... Set... GO !!!

Taking it up from last time, it is important to understand the challenges that the body faces while running or walking, to understand the right fit..

Running places impact forces on the point of contact – the heel, which are more than 3 to 5 times body weight, and which can wreak havoc on the ankle, knee, hip and lower back joints.
Hence, 3 main considerations arise-
Shock needs to be absorbed and dissipated or reflected, which is usually done using various shock absorbing materials or springy materials etc.
Lateral support and stability is needed to stop the foot tilting excessively inwards or outwards, leading to twisting, ankle sprains etc.
Also, look for a shoe that is light weight and breathable.

Running requires far more cushioning and stability than walking, but of course running shoes can be used for walking, if the fit is comfortable
Runners land almost flat footed while walkers land on their heels. A walker's foot hits heel first and then rolls gradually from heel-to-toe. So, you will need a flexible sole and more bend in the toe than a runner. You should be able to twist and bend the toe area.

Have you noticed that your old shoe has worn out more on the outer or the inner part? This can be explained by the different foot types, which need to be considered, to avoid joint problems.
Use the “Wet Test” to know your foot type –
Dip your feet in water, and then stand on a piece of cardboard / paper bag / dry surface, and then look at the imprint.

Flat foot – runners have low arch, which may lead to knee and hip / lower back problems. Their shoes need excellent motion control and this must be mentioned while buying shoes to the professional.

High Arched – runners have rigid, inflexible feet, which puts them at risk for ankle injuries and stress fractures. Their shoes need a lot of cushioning in the mid-sole region of the shoe, and must be mentioned to the professional while buying.

Remember that a good shoe is a long-term investment for a pain-free life ahead!!!

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