Happy Feet

Running works your entire body: your legs, your arms, your heart. But it’s your feet that take the brunt of all that pavement pounding, so whether you’re jogging a couple miles twice a week or in training for a marathon, it’s important that you outfit your tootsies with the proper gear. The right shoes will help you run faster, longer and with less chance of injury. With hundred of options to choose from, how do you know which ones are the right ones for you? Montgomery Mulitsport uses video and other technology to help determine what you and your feet need. Co-owner and physical therapist Quinn Millington explains.

1. Different shoes are made for different types of feet and different running styles, so if you’re picking your pair of running shoes solely on looks, you’re probably picking wrong. “The correct shoe matches your foot to the ground in a way that is safe and efficient,” Quinn said. “It’s important to maintain your foot and ankle in the right position throughout the gait cycle.” Happy Feet

2. When shoe-shopping at a store like Montgomery Multisport, you’ll get asked questions about your running. How often do
you run and what distance? How long have you been running? Do you have any injuries?

3. Then you’ll get sized. Think you know your shoe size? “Most women go a size down for vanity reasons, but getting the real size you need is crucial,” Quinn said.

4. Next, you’ll stand on a device called an iStep, which maps the bottom of your foot to measure your arch and your weight distribution. “This can help us decide if an orthotic is needed,” Quinn said.

5. Finally, you hop up on a treadmill and run for a few minutes while a video camera focused on your feet captures your stride. “This tells us a lot,” Quinn said. “We’re looking for the position of the foot as it strikes the ground.”

When the information from all of the above is combined, you’ll get a shoe recommendation that’s unique to you.

The Big But: “A shoe, even the right shoe, can’t fix all your running issues,” Quinn said. “People may have hip, back or knee problems causing them pain. What we can do is make sure that the shoe is not part of the problem.”