Ask any fitness guru and they will tell you, your choice of workout shoes is one of the key factors that can determine the success or failure of your long term fitness goals. What’s started with total dedication and focus can turn into an everyday torment session where you drag yourself through repeated movements and loathe the muscle cramps and sprains that follow. It is normal to feel a bit of soreness if you’re exercising the first time or after a break, but if your workout sessions ends with heel or ankle pains regularly, your shoes could be the reason.
Today I’m going to describe one trick that has helped me manage my heel pain, in hopes that this information might help you too.
But, mind you, the points mentioned here are helpful, but they won’t act as a cure if you have a medical condition or won’t take the pain off completely. These are just tools I’ve found helpful in handling my own overpronated feet ailments.
Most of us take this for granted, but the truth is, a good shoe provides support for the arch and tissues of our foot, keeping it protected from soreness and injuries.
The width of the foot and its arch is different for everyone, which is why taking the time to find the best workout shoes could be a worthwhile move over the long run.
Depending upon how your foot is formed, you need to choose shoes that will provide the required support when you walk or run.
If you’re like me, on a hunt for options that will make your morning run a fun experience, ‘Pronation’ is the word that you should look up.
Don’t get flustered by the term, it is quite a simple thing to understand and once you figure out the way your foot is formed, you may just be able to make some brilliant choices that will impact your fitness regime most favorably. You can thank me later.
A bit of explanation…
While walking or running, your foot is flexible and facing downwards (prone) flat on the ground at one point and rigid and facing up (supine) as it is lifted off the ground. The natural movement of the foot involves turning of the sole outwards (pronation), so that the body weight is transferred from the sole to the medial part of the foot and then turning of the sole of the foot inwards (supination), shifting weight to the lateral edge.
If your feet is formed perfectly, it will have a neutral pronation and supination- not overly spreading inwards or outwards. But here are a few interesting facts to pay attention.
- If your foot rolls too far inward, you overpronate, bringing all your body weight under your big toe and the medial side or the inside of your foot.
- If you pronate neutrally, rolling inwards just enough to adapt to the surface, your body weight is distributed between the middle toe and the little toes. So, in this position the weight is equally distributed between the sole and the medial part of your foot.
- For some people, the foot rolls outward or supinate as they walk or run. Supination can lead to ankle injuries and sprains as the foot can get over twisted as it rolls outward.
How to Tell Your Foot Type
You better do check your foot type before going shopping.
Examine your feet.
To check if you overpronate, squat on the ground bare foot and check if there is some space underneath the inside part of your feet. If there is no space between your foot and the ground, you’re clearly overpronating.
If there is enough space to slide a finger underneath the middle portion of the inward side of the feet, you likely have normal arches.
Take a look at your most worn running shoes.
If your foot supinates, you’ll see your shoes stretched and slanted outward on one side. If you look at the wear patterns at the base of the shoe, the inside edge of the feet and sole will show more wear and tear.
Overpronation and supination are such subtle characteristics unique to each person that quite often it gets overlooked, leading to long-term foot ailments.
It is true that some problems need medical attention, and it is entirely up to oneself to take the appropriate preventive measures but sometimes all you need is a good pair of shoes!
What Shoes Should You Choose?
Shoes that can correct both of these conditions to some extend are available plenty in the market.
Those of us that have overpronating foot or flat foot, where the outer edge of the heel hits the ground first, making it rolls inward as it comes in contact with the ground, Motion Control shoes is what you should look for. The sole of such shoes are very much cushioned, a little more cushioned to provide the required flexibility and cushioning for the flat foot and they effectively make up for the imbalance of your flat foot.
For a supinating foot, where the stress is mostly on the outside of the foot, a cushioned lightweight shoes with extra room for toes and shoes with arch support is what you should look for. New Balance is one of my favorite brands that offer the best training shoes with the right amount of comfort, cushioning and arch support for supinated feet. The New Balance Men’s 624 Cross Training Shoes is just what the doctor ordered. If you’re looking to wear it in a semi formal setting, the New Balance Men’s 624 Cross Training Shoes, Black might be a great choice. They have a black version for women, but I like the white ones.
If you’re lucky to have a normal pronation, you have got a wide variety of shoes to choose from, but the best bet is specialized neutral running shoes with extra cushioning and support.
All the major brands have all of the above types of shoes on the offer. So, rest assured, and feel free to take your pick carefully!