Three tips for picking the right running shoes

How to chose the best sports shoes for you
How to chose the best sports shoes for you

 

High-heel shoes have always had a bad reputation for causing twisted ankles, worsening of bunions and back pain, but flat-soled shoes aren't necessarily better for you.  Runners were embracing "minimalist" shoes for years thinking they were more natural, but the tide is turning back to "maximalist" highly-cushioned shoes.

"Barefoot" glove-like shoes have been found to cause plantar fascitis, which can be extremely painful to the extent that it could impact your ability to walk properly. The most minimalist shoe out there  — Vibram FiveFinger  — last year settled a class-action lawsuit in the US that alleged the company made false claims about the health benefits of the shoe.

Dr David Su from The Orthopaedic Centre and formerly Medical Director for Foot and Ankle Surgery at Singapore General Hospital says that the issue with these kinds of flat shoes is the lack of support for the arch of the foot.
 
Here are some tips from Dr Su for picking the right shoe and how to prevent foot injuries:

1.  The best time to buy shoes is at the end of the day when your feet are swollen, which best represents how your running shoes will fit you during and after working out.

2.  Shoes must have arch support, especially if you are flat footed. Look for shoes that have a hump supporting the inner arch. Steer clear of flip flops for example, since there’s no arch support.

Dr. Su, who specializies in lower limb trauma and reconstruction and sports injuries, says, “If someone has a flat foot because of ligament laxity and insufficient support due to a worn out tendon, a shoe with good support is especially important.”  Ligamentous laxity occurs in about 5 per cent of the population and occurs in people with loose ligaments, which can cause flat feet.

3. Monitor your mileage. If you must wear flat shoes then don’t increase your running mileage too much or run too fast. Gradually build up your workout over some weeks in order to let your body adjust.
 
Dr Su also has a word of advice about your technique when wearing minimalist shoes.

“The main aim of barefoot shoes is to teach people to shorten stride and land more in the mid and forefoot as opposed to the typical heel strike one may adopt as a result of having well-cushioned shoes. Heel striking during running is inefficient. However, minimalist shoes have been known to cause injuries even in those who have reasonable training base and mileage without a sudden increase in intensity . Thus if one can gradually adapt to a more efficient foot strike pattern even with non-minimalist shoes one may avoid injuries,” says Dr. Su.