Keeping your shoes up-to-date

May 10, 2011

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Photo: Courtesy of Admin

As an athlete in high school, at the first sign of injury or pain, I was always asked, “how old are your shoes?” Many times, they were too old. However, as the years of college have moved on, new running shoes are not something I often think of, until recently. I was running on the treadmill and all of a sudden had pains in the arches of my feet. I tried to run through it, but after a few minutes had to stop. After taking a look at my shoes, I realized it was time for an upgrade.

Whether you wear running shoes or walking shoes, keeping your exercise shoes current is extremely important to prevent injury. When shoes become worn out, they lose stability and shock absorbency. A shoe that is too old can cause various injuries, feet or leg pain such as shin splints, soreness, and painful blisters. Often when shoes lose stability or begin to wear, the first layer to go is the midsole, which you don’t actually see. This is one of the reasons people often don’t know that their shoes are no longer doing what they should be! As the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends, running shoes should last between 350-550 miles. That may seem like a lot of miles for some, but if you think about it, if you run about 3 miles, 4 times per week, that is 12 miles/week. That is already a little over 300 miles in 6 months! Replacement of shoes can also vary within the mileage range based on:

  • racing and running requirements
  • surfaces such as trails, pavement, or indoors
  • style of running
  • body weight    

When it comes time to purchase new shoes, it is important to find a good shoe store where you are allowed to test the shoes. Many shops will have a treadmill set up or even let you take the shoes for a test run. Although shoes may be expensive, it is important to find the right shoe for your foot and running style in order to prevent injury and keep you a happy runner!

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Parents usually pay much more attention to their kid’s developments, particularly- height, weight, vision, IQ and so on.  But never thinks about their developing foot. Mal-developing of childhood foot can leads to various deformities in adult life. So using proper fitted kids running shoes can only minimize foot pain and likelihood deformity.

Anatomy and development of human foot is very complex process. Foot arch is consists of multiple short bones which are initially very soft and flexible and get hardened due to ossification at the age of 15 yrs mostly. Small children should have a sports shoe, which is as flexible as their own foot. The small impact forces during their sports activities make additional cushioning effect on to their soft foots. During school period the connective tissue put on constancy. The increasing amount of sports activities, much of which is executed on firm indoor surfaces, enhances the need for padding. All at once there is a growing requirement for adequate mechanical stimulus to help the muscles and bones for development. In small shoes, the displacement of proportions can lead to improper positioning of the flex zone and thereby causing detrimental stress on the foot. So abnormal pressure over soft little foot causes foot pain and deformity.

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