Monthly Archives: July 2016

When To Replace Your Running Shoes

One of the most common causes of running injuries is running in shoes that are old and worn out. Running shoes are the most important piece of equipment that a runner has. So, they need to be replaced when they need to be. Here are some tips to go by regarding when to replace your running shoes.

You can take the shoes that you’ve been running in and look at them from behind. If they are starting to wear out, they will not sit flat. You can see the wear on one side. However, your shoes may be starting to break down from the inside even before the outer soles show signs of wearing out. The cushioning on the inside of the shoe which keeps your foot stable and protected will usually break down before the outer sole. Wearing shoes that are broken down can cause injuries if run in for many miles.

The general rule of thumb is to replace your running shoes between 300 – 500 miles. How soon they break down depends on your body weight as well as the surfaces that you run on the majority of the time. Also, how your foot strikes the ground can be a factor. If you are a heavier runner – you should be replacing your shoes around 300 – 350 miles. Lighter runners can usually get 450 – 500 miles from a pair of shoes.

Be aware of any aches and pains when you run. This could be a sign that your shoes are needing to be replaced. Another test is the twisting test. If you can twist your shoe, it may be breaking down. It should be firm.

Keep track of the mileage on your running shoes in your running log. Whenever you write your run in your log, in addition to the usual entries (weather, mileage, course, etc.), write down which shoes you ran in.

Also, you should have 2 pair of running shoes that you are running in at the same time. Rotating your shoes can also prolong the life of them. Wear one pair and then the next time you run – wear your other pair. This will allow each pair to thoroughly dry out on the inside before you wear them again. Even if it is not raining, your feet sweat and will make the inside of your shoes wet.

Just because you have to retire a pair of running shoes from your work-outs, don’t fret. You can still wear them for casual wear.

Running Tips For Choosing the Correct Type of Running Shoes

Choosing running shoes is not simply about choosing the one that makes you look good – as tempting as this may be for some. You will look amazing when you finish your first half or full marathon, you won’t need your shoes to make you look good! There are essentially 3 types of foot strike, and there are 3 main types of shoes:

1. Stability Shoes – These are suited for people who have a normal arch, in other words they have neutral pronation. They provide moderate control over the roll of the foot and simply help cushion the impact.

2. Motion Control Shoes – These shoes are for people who have a flat arch and hence over-pronate. These shoes provide high stability and try and decrease the amount the foot rolls inward. Typically these shoes have a hard inner edge on the sole.

3. Cushioned (Neutral) Shoes – These shoes are for people who have a high arch. Typically these people under pronate so the shoe must not provide stability but rather try help absorb impact from the inefficient foot strike.

If you’ve finally found the pair that seems good, then you are nearly done. Make sure that the shop you are buying your shoe from has a policy to allow you to return the shoes within the next week or so if they don’t seem suitable. Take the shoes out to meet the road. As soon as you can, go out for a run with your new pair of shoes. While you are running try and be aware of how they feel. They are new so they may feel different but there should be no places that seem to rub, or strange protrusions that are poking your foot.

Most shoes should last you for about 1000km (600mi), so the pair you buy now will see you comfortably through a 5 mile, half marathon and full marathon training program.

Tips for Choosing the Right Triathlon Running Shoes

When I first started into Triathlon Training, I had no idea the amount or the specificity of the equipment that I would need. I of course knew that I needed a bicycle, running shoes, and some clothing, but had no idea about watches, bike shoes, aero helmets, aero wheels, wetsuits, or any of the other myriad of items. In fact, my first running shoes were simply some I picked up at a local sports store for cheap. I just had not idea.

When I started getting more serious about my racing and my running, I knew that I needed to purchase some shoes that would enable me to have the best running performance. Once again, I was at a loss of where to turn to start this process. I looked online and searched for different items about running shoes. I found a lot of information specifically about running marathons or distance races. I did not find a lot of information about specific ideas for triathlon shoes. I took some of the ideas from the information that I found and began the process of purchasing shoes.

Along the way, I have discovered several different ideas for selecting shoes that I would like to share in this post.

  1. Get Fit – No this is not a redundant idea of getting more physically fit, but rather get fit to the type of shoe you need. Most running specific stores will help you discover which shoe will be the best for you. Many of these stores will take you through a series of tests to determine which shoe fit will be best for you. Having done this a few times now, the process goes something like this. First, the sales representative will talk to you a little bit about what you do for running, how long you have been running, and what your goals are in running. I look and ask for someone who has been with the store a while so as to get the best kind of discussion about my needs as a runner especially since I focus on Triathlon specific running. Second, they will either electronically, by using a special pad you stand on, or manually, by using the old sizing metal platform that is always cold, they will determine your size and width of your foot. Third, they will head to the back to bring you up a sample shoe for you to do some exercise in. I always know that the sales person is going to pick a shoe they like, so I am leery of just latching on to the first shoe. The sample shoe will be a neutral shoe with no lift or assistance to keep your foot straight. Fourth, the sales rep will have you get on a treadmill and run for 5-10 minutes while they record the way your feet fall. You will want to wear something that you can run in comfortably. The last session I had like this, the gentleman also recorded me from the side to make sure I was landing correctly. After you finish this brief running session, the sales rep will watch the video with you. He is looking for supination, which is the opposite of pronation and refers to the outward roll of the foot during normal motion. If you have too much supination then you will need to have a shoe that will help to balance your feet. I have a pretty neutral fall to my feet so this has not been a problem for me. At one of the places I have visited, they had me stand on a glass screen that took a measurement of the pressure points of my foot. This helped to understand the arch level of the foot. After all of this data is collected the sales rep will choose a shoe for you to try. This fitting process is very important.
  2. Get Choosy – The process of choosing your shoe with the data that has been handed to you by the sales rep is one that you need to take your time with. I have found that the choosing of the look and feel of the shoe is very important. If you don’t like the look of the shoe, then you will feel less than enthused about wearing it even for running. If you don’t like the feel then you will not run. This choice is critical. You might be a bit choosy about the brand of shoe, but for me I want something that is going to give me the support and comfort for a lot of miles. Most trainers will last you 300-500 miles, so choose wisely which shoe you go with. Many times, the store will enable you to run on the treadmill or on a mini-track inside the store, some will even let you go outside to run in the shoes. Take enough time to where you are convinced these are the shoes you will run in for the duration of your training and racing.
  3. Get More – Yes, get more than one pair. Typically, what I do is find the right kind of shoe at the shop. I certainly don’t want to have someone spend 30 minutes to an hour to help me find a shoe, and then I just go home and buy it online. That is not genuine and is a terrible practice. I do however, go home and begin to look at other pairs. You want to have a rotation of shoes. When I first started rotating shoes, I bought 3 of the same type of shoe. Two of them I swapped back and forth on training days, then the third was for racing. This process worked pretty well, but I have since been told that you should have 2-3 pairs of shoes during training that are different kinds of shoes. They might have a different amount of cushion or a different amount of drop. The shoe drop is the amount of drop from the heel to the toe. You can have anything from 0 to 10 mm of drop or more. I am trying to have 3 different amounts of drop in my shoes now. The theory is that you use different foot, leg, and calf muscles with the different amounts of drop. Therefore, if you use different types then you get a stronger overall performance. You then will want to select a shoe for racing. If you are doing a sprint race, you might want to purchase a shoe that doesn’t have a lot of cushion and thus is lighter for running. If you are doing a longer race than you will want more cushion for the long distances. Much of this process of choosing your racing shoe comes through trial and error.
  4. Get Set-up – The last tip for getting the right triathlon shoe is to get your shoe setup correctly. What I mean by this is you are not going to have a ton of time during transitions to tie your shoe or get it slipped on. You will want to make quick work of getting your running shoes on for the run leg of the race. I prefer to use elastic shoestrings for this process. The way I get my shoe setup is I purchase my elastic shoe strings online. I then change out the shoelaces and pout the elastic ones in. Next, I put the shoe on with very loose shoe strings. From this point, I tighten up the shoe laces around my foot already in the shoe. If you do this before you get your foot in the shoe then certain parts of the shoe will be too tight. I then make the appropriate adjustments to feel comfortable with the new elastic shoe strings. I do not want any pinching. I then head out for a run. I want to keep track of the mileage for the shoe, so I will know when to trade them out for new ones. You want your shoe to fit well, but not too tight as you have a lot of miles of training and running.

I hope these tips will help you to choose your running shoe for triathlons.

Fashionable Shoes for Big Feet

If you are looking for larger size shoes for big feet, you are not alone. In the last five years alone there has been a drastic increase in the sales of larger sizes, such as 8, 9, 10, and 11 (UK sizing). What were once specially made shoes with few choices in style, are now being offered in popular designer stylings. From boots to strappy heels, modern women who have larger feet or frames can get the fashions they desire. Though stores on Main Street have started to offer more of the larger sizes, the best place to head for affordability and a wide range of choices is still the internet.

There are websites especially devoted to providing women larger-sized versions of favourite designer shoes. The actual differences between each of the shoe sizes are really minimal. There is just a barleycorn separating one size from another. A barleycorn is actually the basis for shoe sizing in the United Kingdom and in the United States, even though the sizing systems for each place are different. A barleycorn roughly equals two thirds of an inch. When you think of that, it seems that a variance of even three to four sizes shouldn’t really seem like that much. In fact, with that in mind, people who wear shoes for big feet should choose whatever shoes they like and wear them proudly.

However, if you are really self-conscious about the size of your feet and want them to appear smaller, there are some tips to choosing fashionable shoes for big feet in order to accomplish that purpose. For instance, the whole intention of pointy shoes in fashion is to elongate the leg. This is done by elongating the look of the foot. So, if you want to appear to have shorter feet, rounded toe shoes are the way to go. Peep toes and other heels are a great way to double the effect of this tip. Heeled shoes, especially wedges, make the foot appear smaller. Peep toe court shoes break up the line of the foot, stopping the eye and shortening the appearance of the foot.

In general, darker colours give a smaller appearance. However, wearing shoes the same colour as the trousers or tights you wear has the same effect. A piece of good news for today’s shoe trends, embellishments like bows, flowers, buckles, buttons, etc. also make the feet appear smaller. The best rule of thumb is to wear fashionable shoes confidently no matter what size they are.