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BASIC INFO

YOU MAY NEED

I have written a lot of articles over the years for Race Place Magazine so I have decided to condense some of the past information and create a check list that you might want to use. These are things to think about when you are making a purchase:

Shoes:

Foot Inserts:

A. Your feet get flatter and longer as you are aging so always try on the shoes for proper fit even though you are buying the same model. Make sure the width feels comfortable on your foot. Most major companies are making widths now so you can get a customized fit. It is also best to try on shoes later in the day to get a truer fit.

Inserts come in two major types. A functional insert is the one where you have a custom mold made of your foot to make an orthotic, which changes the way you run or walk. These are prescribed by a Podiatrist, only after a careful examination. A custom orthotic should be checked every 18 to 24 months for fit. The second type of insert is called an accommodative insert. Accommodative inserts can be soft to help absorb shock and supportive to stabilize the foot. The life of accommodative inserts is about a year of normal use. Try these inserts in your shoes at the store to make sure you get a proper fit.

B. Your feet will swell anywhere from ½ to 1 ½ sizes when you are exercising , so give your self a thumbnail’s extra length from your longest toe to the end of the shoe. C. Don’t get married to your shoes because shoe companies are always doing updates which change the fit, features and benefits of your favorite model. D. Shoes that work for your feet should have a natural feel and require very little breaking in time. You should not have to make a major adjustment to a shoe; it should work with your running motion. E. The life of a running shoe with normal use is about 6 months or 300 to 500 miles. Normal use is assuming you are running 3 to 4 miles, 3 or 4 times a week. If you are using minimalist shoes or racing flats, the normal life will be about 200 to 300 miles or about 3 or 4 months. If you are running more than 4 days a week, you should be rotating two pairs of shoes.You will find by rotating shoes, you get about 10% longer wear in both pairs. Rotating gives the shoe a chance to rebound and to dry out.

A. Cushion inserts will help your feet absorb shock when you are running on harder surfaces. Concrete sidewalks are about 10 times harder than asphalt so select softer shoes and cushion inserts when you are running mainly on concrete. Cushion inserts are designed for someone with a higher arch. B. Supportive inserts are designed for someone with a flatter foot that tends to roll in or to pronate. Support inserts range from being lightly supportive to very supportive, approaching a functional orthotic. Try on any insert you are about to buy and walk around the store to make sure it is giving you the support you want. Hopefully, these tips are useful and will make you a more informed buyer.

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Bill Davison, BA CPed

Running Center TampaBay

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Florida RacePlace Magazine The Bible of Running and Triathlons in Florida

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