The Barefoot and Minimalist Running Shoe Debate

If you are unsure of your foot type, a sports podiatrist can help you and can offer advice on the right type of running shoes for your foot type as well as techniques on how to change your foot strike pattern. They can also undertake a thorough running gait analysis to see your overall running form and foot strike patterns and can offer advice on techniques to change this.

3. The Sole
The sole of the running shoe should be firm. It should bend only at the point where your foot is flexed and bends. Lots of running shoe manufacturers are using materials that look firm but are actually very soft and flexible. Play with the shoes in the shop twist and bend the sole to ensure it is firm enough to protect your foot. Running shoes designed for low arches have more material in the inside heel area of the sole and the materials used in that area may also be firmer. This can have an impact on the knee. Those with painful or arthritic knees may find that some types of soles will aggravate the knee. Again, it is important to try running in the shop on a treadmill before you purchase and a sports podiatrist will also be able to advise you.

In general, it is good to stick to recognised brands that invest in product development. However, this can get expensive so if you are not worried about having the latest design I advise that you shop in the sales or look for the previous season’s models to keep the costs down. Running shoe shops with knowledgeable staff are great but beware of sales gimmicks. Stick to the basic advice above and you shouldn’t go far wrong.

Rehab Mantra
Stay Fit. Love Life


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