Footwear is the most important piece of equipment for most athletes whether you’re running, walking, playing tennis or cross training.  Most people don’t realize the importance of a good pair of shoes. 

Walking can cause up to three times your body weight’s pressure on each foot that you land on.  If your feet are not properly supported, it’s likely that you’re body isn’t as well.  Correct footwear for the activity you do is essential to a healthy and injury-free fitness lifestyle.
One must realize that your feet are the foundation of your body.  For example, imagine walking many hundred steps with feet that have flat to low arches in shoes that have little or no arch supports.  In this situation, the feet will roll inward thus putting pressure on the heels, then the ankles, then on the knees, then the hips and eventually the back.  Again, if your feet are not aligned your body will do anything in its power to compensate alignment meanwhile causing aches, pains and hopefully no permanent damage.  People with high arches also have issues and are not off the hook.  Feet with high arches in the wrong shoes can cause havoc on the outer knee, the illotibial band and severe hip, back and neck pain.

Shoes should be fitted to you personally and cater to your needs, whether you walk or run on pavement, treadmill, or trails to walk or run your first marathon, or are trying to get healthy from an injury or from wanting to become more active and less sedentary.  Whatever the fitness reason may be, just get fitted properly.  Getting fitted correctly means going to a reliable source where staff members know how to fit you and have core knowledge of footwear and feet.  Having a place to go where the staff can look at your walking style or your gait and analyze your needs is important to getting a proper shoe for you and your activity.  

In preparation to shop for a good pair of shoes, bring the current pair of shoes that you are using and have a staff member check out the wear pattern and to see if the shoes are still in good condition.  It’s been known that people tend to wear their shoes longer than they should and have been walking out on dead cushion.  Your older shoes may look nice on the outside.  The tread may still be good, but your shoes die in the midsole, the heart of the shoe.  Also, bring in the socks, shoe inserts and arch supports you may be wearing with the shoes.  These factors can change the fit of the shoes.

Finally, have both feet measured, as one foot is always longer and wider than the other.  Then go with the combination of the larger foot and width.  For walking purposes, it’s normal to fit your shoes bigger but again, see a fitting expert for proper fitting.
For more information call Runners Lane at 661-260-3368.