I love my job! I have been working in the footwear industry, learning about shoes, and fitting trainers for over 11 years. So you could say I have a bit of knowledge 🤓 I thought I’d use these next few blog posts to answer questions I’ve been sent about the world of running shoes!
What’s the best shoe for me (I have a low arch/I have a high arch)?
The difficulty with this question is, that knowing your arch height in terms of shoe support is pretty much irrelevant. The height of your arch gives no indication on how your foot moves and can only at best give indication of the potential shoe brand based on shape (for the trained eye).
This question follows nicely into the second I always get asked:
Over pronation? Supination? What do these mean?
Right time to get sciencey 🤓 EVERY foot pronates. The foots initial contact to the ground (be it forefoot, midfoot or rearfoot) to moving through to the foot being in full contact with the ground is pronation! The movement that is important is after initial contact- as the body begin bear weight onto the foot. Medial movement (overpronation) can occur in either the rearfoot, midfoot or forefoot. There are shoes with varying levels of support to accommodate this!
On the other hand, there are people who weight bear on the foot and don’t move at all these feet are neutral. There are a small % of people who make contact with the ground and load and shift their movement laterally. These people are called supinators and should still be in neutral shoes.
The best advice I can give is support of shoes sits on a continuum. Shoes these days aren’t just neutral or support. You can get soft neutral shoes or firm supportive shoes which will still control mild overpronation. Get yourself fitted correctly!
I’m a size 4 in normal shoes but you’re telling me I’m a 6.5 UK in trainers?! How and why?
Running footwear is created to function in the best way possible. A key factor in this is the length of the shoe. I go by the rule of thumb. If you have a thumbs width at the end of the shoe, that is the ideal size. Why? As the foot shock absorbs as you begin to weight bear it splays, the extra length is to allow the foot to splay as much is necessary. It also allows for foot swelling when running longer distances to save toe nails!
When should I change my shoes?
Trainers roughly should be changed every 400miles. This number is based on the ‘average height’ and ‘average weight’ of the uk population. Therefore take it with a pinch of salt. I like to change my shoes every 6months and rotate between two pairs. When shock absorption goes joints are at risk-don’t leave it too late and get injured!