Fitness Facts: Proper running shoes prevent problems

| July 21, 2011 | 0 Comments

Kristy Osborn
Schofield Barracks Health and Fitness Center



SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Having the correct equipment is one of the most important factors while working out.

Fitted running shoes, correct workout clothes and a water bottle are always a necessity when training for any event.

Failure to try on running shoes and or workout clothes to get the correct sizes can cause serious injury or permanent damage to the body.

The longer I stay in the fitness industry, the more people I come across who have ill-fitted shoes, leading to the loss of a toenail, arch pain or a rubbing rash.

Bruising a toenail is a common occurrence for endurance athletes. A sharp blow, like dropping a brick on your foot, can cause this injury, but running is the most common cause as most people buy shoes that do not fit properly. If shoes are too tight, they will cause constant pounding of the toes against the front of the shoe. If shoes are too big, there will be too much room in the heel, which allows the foot to slide around inside the shoe and cause the same problem.

During the summer months, many athletes become more prone to foot injuries. The feet swell more in hot weather, causing more fluid to accumulate and the pressure to increase inside the shoe.

In most cases, a bruised nail is nothing to be concerned about; the bruising will slowly disappear. However, the nail may completely fall off; the new nail will grow out within three months.

Proper shoe care is also crucial because of the importance of support to the feet and arch. Throughout the day, gravity causes the body to compress the cushion in the shoes’ soles, slowly decreasing their supportive ability.

Everyone should have a separate pair of shoes purely for exercise or  switch between two pairs of shoes every other day. This practice gives soles time to recover and return to their full supportiveness.

All running shoes have a certain lifetime mileage. The most common recommendation is to switch out running shoes every six months or 500 miles. This number also depends on body weight, shoe usage and the type of shoe. It’s time for a new pair if the bottoms of shoes are worn, arches are becoming sore during or after exercise, or if the actual shoe is breaking or tearing.

Many stores now offer a running analysis to determine which brand and type of shoe will fit a person’s feet and needs best. Advisors choose the best-fitting shoe for feet based on running style, weekly mileage, the degree of a foot’s arch, and if a runner pronates (his or her ankle rolls inside) or supinates (the ankle tips to the outside).

As you can see, proper workout equipment like shoes are essential to ensure an injury-free, exercise program.

(Editor’s Note: Some of the content of this article was taken from

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