by Kurt Sjoberg, GH Team Member & Cal Poly Student
There are two kinds of hurting when it comes to running. First, there’s the good burn. This burn lets you know you’re working hard, that you’re making progress towards your goals. This burn is what most of us run for. Are runners masochistic? Probably a little. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be smart.
The second kind of hurt is the bad kind. It’s your body telling you you’ve done something wrong and that you’re about to be punished for it. It’s the kind of pain that puts you on the couch for a week icing and trying to recover. The kind of pain that makes you miss runs and races. Most of the time, this pain can be avoided and some of the time this pain can be stopped just by using the right shoes.
The right shoes:
What does it mean to have the right shoes? Two things: They should feel good, and they should be fitted to your body. The first part of the equation is easy. No one needs help knowing when a shoe is comfortable. The second though, is a little trickier. A good shoe fit is going to be based off of your individual gait mechanics, and should be fit to:
- Support your specific arches.
- Cushion the impact between you and the road, trail, etc.
- Keep your legs in a straight line.
When these three metrics aren’t met, you can find yourself suffering from bad pain. Have shin splints? That’s the cost of running in shoes without enough cushioning. Plantar fasciitis, that splitting pain in your heel after a run? A not-so-gentle reminder that your shoes aren’t properly supporting your arches. Or maybe it’s in your hips or knees where you have the bad pain. That can be tied to having a shoe that does not properly support the pronation or supination of your ankles.
Whether you have these pains already or you are looking to keep them at bay, finding a shoe that fits your body can be a difficult endeavor without an expert to help. The best plan of action is to let someone experienced at gait analysis watch you run and help you decide on shoe options best for your specific needs.
At our GH Sports retail store in San Luis Obispo, California, we perform complimentary custom gait analyses to runners, walkers, hikers, gym rats, and individuals in need of comfortable shoes that meet their specific needs. Our unique and detailed analysis gives us the ability to recommend shoes that will correctly support your body type, activity level, and goals. Whether you are using orthotics, suffering from past/current injuries, training for a race, or looking to ensure your long-term mobility, we’re here to help. It’s our goal to put you in a pair of shoes that will help keep you on the trail and keep you feeling the good kind of hurt (just the right amount of burn) and nothing else.