Invest some time in getting your running shoes fitted properly

Dearly beloved runners,

Standing here talking to you via the modern day pulpit of social media, I feel more like a preacher than the owner of a running specialist outlet...

And as a preacher/ soothsayer/ evangelist of the running scene in the South West, I have been flapping my gums non-stop on the importance of proper running footwear for you; the daily track/ road/ trail/ fell runners.

I believe that everyone’s feet and biomechanics are as individual as your finger prints.

I have caught myself on a regular occasion - ie daily - looking at people's feet and explaining why they are the way they are... Why they are flat, why they might turn out, why they are actually a size 7-8 and not the size 5 - 6 you think they are...

I also recall, as you may, if you have had the fortune to be fitted for running shoes by me, that just because the “Turbo 2000” is what your mate wears and he does okay, doesn’t mean it’s any good for you! You don’t have the same feet, job, parents, running gait... I could go on...

Unfortunately we have been wearing some form of footwear for nearly 40,000 years according to fossil data... and we have become less active ever since, causing the muscles in our feet to waste away... Use it or lose it, I think is the phrase!

Bring self critical, I am forever looking inward, questioning my ethos and trying to find evidence to support my recommendations, researching new studies and data on feet, running and biomechanics.

So it was with great pleasure that I discovered this BBC article online thanks to my wife who shared it with me:

It in essence supports what I’ve been preaching since we started trading three years ago.

I find it hard to fathom that running shoe brands spend ££££ on designing the perfect shoe for whatever surface/ speed/ event floats your boat, and yet are happy for any potentially untrained shop assistant to fit you this highly engineered piece of equipment.

The wrong shoe on the wrong foot/ runner will not only potentially damage said runner, but also ruin customer faith in that brand. How many times have I heard people say they don’t like this brand because they gave them blisters or Achilles pain? More likely the shoe was wrong for them in the first place!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not the authority on running shoes, and I don’t get it right all the time, but I am a trained sports therapist, a runner with over 35 years of running experience, and about to embark on a research masters degree in fitting the right shoe to the right runner... And my personal development won’t end there!

In essence, I want to change how you buy your running shoes. A golfer who is serious about his sport will see a golf pro and get the club weight, balance, shaft diameter and length all fitted personally to them. A skier can take up to two and a half hours to be fitted for ski boots. So why shouldn’t a runner expect the same?

Yes you can just buy a club, ski boot or running shoe off the shelf but don’t expect high performance or an injury-free experience.

So if you are serious about your running, have biomechanical issues, or joint pain, etc, then invest some time in getting fitted properly, or just chat to someone in the know. Your body, including your feet, has changed and will continue to change.

Mind how you run.