I started running back when I was in grad school studying to be a Physical Therapist. I needed a mindless activity that would help me clear my head after a hard day of studying. Turns out its not as mindless for me as I thought. Running for me is hard! I also don’t like running when it’s too cold out.
I call myself a fair weather runner. Now is my season!
The one thing I can’t run without is a good pair of shoes. I have what’s called flexible feet or better known as feet that require stability when I run. I don’t need a lot, but I tried a pair of minimalist shoes and I almost tore my calf!
Here is a brief description of the different types of feet and what you should be looking for if you are a fair weather runner like myself.
Flexible Feet/Flat Feet – Feet of this type need support. A stable shoe with a rigid heel. It’s still good to have a little flexibility in the toe box, but try a Brooks or Mizuno brand.
Rigid Feet/High Arches – Feet like this have little to no shock absorbance. As you hit your heel/foot on the pavement your foot is supposed to have enough pliability to absorb the impact. Try to find a shoe that has some cushion like Saucony or ASICS.
Neutral – Believe it or not this is the category most people fit in. I once had a doctor tell me that only 30% of the population really need special shoes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find the right fit for you!
When I have a patient come in and ask about running shoes this is usually my answer. I give them a description of their feet, flexible, rigid or neutral and then we talk about shoes. I tell them what type of shoe works best and then refer them to a company that does it best.
The Running Store is great. Last Fall I participated with them in helping people prepare for the Prince William Half Marathon. I got the privilege to watch those guys in action. Their knowledge and experience in helping people find the right shoe for the right race. They have an extensive inventory and they are not afraid to take time to help you and your feet fit.
If you still have questions or if you have pain when running, maybe you need a bit more than a different pair of shoes. Please contact Advantage Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation and we would be happy to get you back on the running path this fair weather season!