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Finding my “Sole” mate

by Trisha Dohn on June 12th, 2013

Roses are red, violets are blue, I found my sole mate….have you?  Okay, not that kind of soul mate….I found him nearly 6 years ago.  The sole mate I am referring to is my new pair of shoes!

Our feet work hard every day, carrying us through our daily tasks while we walk, stand, carry, lift, climb, clean, work, and exercise. If we neglect our feet, especially during a workout our feet are more likely to deal with swelling, blisters, and plain ole discomfort.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned when talking about exercise is how important it is for me to invest in a good pair of workout shoes!  Now, this does not mean going to a shoe store and picking out the cutest shoes on the shelf or the cheapest (which I was more likely to do in my 20’s)!  Recently I was experiencing a sore back and knees after my workouts and instantly I knew I had neglected my feet.  Although most people buy running shoes even if they don’t run, the shoes you buy should be specific to the activity that you will be using them for.  So, I was off to the store where I had one of the shoe experts watch me walk in my existing pair of workout shoes and look at my arches to determine what shoe would be best for my feet.  Do you know what type of arch you have?

  • -  Flat-footed folks have low arches and feet that tend to roll inward as you run or walk. Look for a shoe that offers more stability.
  • -  High arches often cause the feet to roll outward when walking. Look for a cushioned shoe with greater flexibility to help absorb shock more effectively. Insoles, inserted inside your shoes, can also help to support heels and arches.
  • -  “Normal” arches don’t fit into either extreme. Most shoes are made to fit these types.

Additionally, there are three different types of pronation. Pronation, the way that your foot moves after striking the ground (often with the heel and ankle rolling inward for balance) is a normal movement.  Do you overpronate, underpronate or have a normal pronation?  Again, knowing all of this will ensure that you spend your dollars wisely and purchase the best shoe for your feet!

 

Additional Shoe Shopping Tips

  • -  Shoes should be replaced every five to six months, depending on how often you use them. If the tread (on the outer sole) is worn or if the sides are worn to the point that your shoe leans one way or the other, it’s time for a new pair. Write the date on the insole of your new shoes to help you remember when it’s time to replace them.
  • -  Get refitted each year. Don’t assume that a new design of the same shoe will fit the same way as the previous model did. It may have been modified slightly in the design process.  Believe it or not, I went from wearing Asics for years to buying a pair of Nikes and they feel awesome!
  • -  When you try out new shoes, wear the same type of socks that you wear when working out not your black work socks fellas
  • -  Most experts recommend wearing your new shoes around the house for a couple hours a day for a few days before wearing them for longer workouts. This allows your foot to mold your shoe for better comfort. Also, don’t wear your new shoes for your longest run or walk until you have worn them for a few shorter workouts first. You will want to allow time to transition into your new shoes, even if they are the same shoe you have worn before. Running or walking in an upcoming race……never wear new shoes for a race without wearing them for a few weeks first.

So with all of this said, if you have not taken the time to find your “sole” mate, I encourage you to make the time for your workout relationship and go find him/her J ….and lastly……Be Well South Dakota!

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