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The Importance of Footwear In Increasing Running Distance & Speed
The Importance of Footwear In Increasing Running Distance & Speed

With the heat of summer easing, now is the perfect time to increase your running. Whether you are a beginner runner looking to get started or an experienced running junkie (yes, you are likely addicted to the endorphin rush!), an increase in your running (in either speed or distance) is unfortunately often associated with an increase in injury.

Injury is the single biggest factor that puts runners out of action & often brings new runners to a standstill before they even start. 70% of all sporting injuries occur to the foot & lower limb and the majority of these are overuse injuries, many of which can be prevented.

Running is a very repetitive sport, putting the same strain on the same parts of your body step after step. As such foot and leg alignment is of prime importance to a runner.

Footwear is of prime importance to runners and plays an important role in reducing injury risk. It is imperative shoes are selected taking in to account the runners terrain, distance, weight, foot type & running style

Terrain – largely affects the outsole of the shoe – those running the goat track or similar may benefit from a trail shoe with a running midsole, but more rugged tread

Distance – longer distance runners need to look at additional features in shoes such as gel or additions to the midsole to assist with durability

Weight – often overlooked in shoe selection, heavy runners need a more dense (firmer) midsole than lighter runners. A heavy runner will compress a soft midsole quickly, getting little shock absorption from it and wearing it out quickly. A light runner will have difficulty in compressing a firm midsole and again get minimal cushioning benefits.

Foot type – runners should be aware of what foot type they have – whether the foot rolls in (pronates) or rolls out (supinates) excessively or is neutral. An experienced and qualified sport store staff member can give you some idea of foot type but runners should see a sports podiatrist for specific advice and footwear script to aid in appropriate shoe selection. An excessively pronated foot is unstable, requiring more ‘work’ from the lower leg musculature and can predispose to injuries such as plantar fasciitis (heel pain), shin splints and knee pain. An excessively supinated foot (more correctly termed ‘under pronator’) is a much rarer beast and frequently incorrectly diagnosed. It is a difficult foot type to deal with and predisposes to shock type injuries, including stress fractures, heel, ankle, knee pain

Running Style – the majority of runners land on the heel and most shoes are designed to accommodate this. Some are mid foot or forefoot strikers though and require different features, some shoe brands cater specifically for these foot types, check with your Podiatrist or Fit Technician when purchasing footwear.

Running is an essential part of most sports and exercise regimes. Whatever physical activity you are doing, your feet are the initial conductor of any forces that go through your body. Walking puts about 1.5-2 times your body weight through your feet, whereas running is much more stressful, with 3-4 times your body weight going through your feet. This is why groups of people such as runners and sport players are more susceptible to heel, shin and knee pain, especially if they exhibit poor biomechanics and footwear that is worn or ill-fitting. Running on hard surfaces such as the road, places more stress on the joints than running on softer ones such as grass.

Making sure you have the right footwear for your running activity is the first step to preventing or reducing foot pain. Have your podiatrist check your feet in a biomechanical assessment to find which shoe and its features are best for you. If you are experiencing pain after running, your podiatrist can assess why this is happening, and give advice and implement treatment. Common pains associated with running are shin pain or ‘shin splints’, heel and forefoot pain and knee pain. This is due to its repetitive nature, whereby chronic conditions can arise.

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img 07 4725 3755
reception@podiatrycentre.com.au
img 140 Ross River Rd Mundingburra 4814
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