Walking into a store to buy sneakers can be very intimidating. Multiple types and styles of sneakers line the walls: stability, motion control, cushion, minimalist, walking, cross training, running, pronation control, and supination control. Choosing the wrong shoe for your foot type can cause discomfort, which can lead to injury in the foot, as well as up the kinetic chain, disrupting biomechanical performance. On the other hand, choosing the correct shoe can relieve discomfort and improve biomechanical performance. How do you choose? Choosing does not need to be like Russian roulette.
Knowing your foot type and/or how your foot functions are important aspects of purchasing sneakers. How do you find out your foot type or how your foot is functioning? The easy way is to perform the Wet Test, www. runnersworld.com, but this isn’t necessarily a fool proof test. The best way to determine your foot type is to see a foot specialist at South County Physical Therapy. A foot specialist will take your measurements, assess your walking and running biomechanics, and give you a personalized footwear prescription. The foot specialist will educate you on the best sneakers option for your feet, and determine the most important features for your sneakers.
New sneakers should be purchased according to use/mileage. Serious runners change sneakers every three to four months; recreational runners every six months; and for general use, they should be changed every year. If you buy multiple pairs of new sneakers, never save one pair until the other pair wears out. Sneakers which sit in a closet and are unused can age. If you have multiple pairs, alternate them every other day or week. This will not only provide longevity to the sneakers, but even more importantly, will provide the proper support/cushion to meet your needs.
Sneakers are like tires on a car. When the tires wear out, we purchase new ones and get an alignment, so that the tires last. Your sneakers are your tires. Remember, you only have one pair of feet, so give them the best and take great care of them.