Embrace Foot Care
Start with the Right Shoe Fit
Caring for your feet begins with the choice of the right shoes. It's essential to invest in well-fitting footwear tailored to your specific needs. In the past, it might have seemed excessive to have separate shoes for activities like cricket, tennis, basketball, running, or walking. However, when you consider the distinct foot movements and varying surfaces associated with each sport, it becomes evident that your feet require specialized support, much like you wouldn't play tennis with a squash ball or cricket with a baseball.
Running shoes, for instance, are meticulously crafted for forward motion and excel in providing shock absorption, particularly near the heel when your foot makes ground contact. They handle up to three times your body weight during impact, unlike walking shoes. It's crucial to choose shoes with a sturdy heel for added support, regardless of the brand's proprietary cushioning technologies.
The Importance of Heel Support
Heel support is paramount in running shoes. They are engineered to withstand and absorb the considerable shock your foot experiences upon impact, particularly at the heel. While different brands may use varying materials and technologies, their fundamental role remains the same - to protect your feet from jarring impacts.
When selecting running shoes, prioritize flexibility and lightweight designs. However, for individuals in need of additional support, options labeled as "stability" or "motion control" shoes are available. These are less flexible and feature a thicker heel, effectively reducing excessive pronation. They typically include a firm section in the arch area to provide necessary support.
If you're a supinator, look for shoes with extra cushioning, particularly at the arch area, to help absorb the extra impact from your foot strikes.
Assessing shoe stability involves a three-phase evaluation. First, bend the shoe from toe to heel to identify the point of flexion. If it doesn't flex at the forefoot where your foot naturally bends, be cautious. Next, grip both ends of the shoe and twist them in opposite directions. If the shoe feels as pliable as a towel, it indicates inadequate support. Finally, squeeze the heel from both directions, just above the midsole. A stable heel should remain firm and not collapse under pressure.