Local News

Step Into Right Pair Of Running Shoes

Posted December 5, 2005 2:13 a.m. EST

— The right pair and the right fit of running shoes can help you avoid injury.

Rain or shine, at least 30 minutes of running a day is a habit for Bill Wood.

"My energy level is much greater and I have more enthusiasm for life," he said.

Wood said he has more energy and enthusiasm now than he had 13 years ago.

"In 1992, I weighed about 245 [pounds]. Right now, I'm around 175 or so," he said.

Wood did learn the hard way that what's good for the body can be hard on the feet.

"Heel pain, particularly with runners, is probably the most common thing I see," said podiatrist Dr. David Tobin.

Tobin uses a special laser to get a digital image of the foot. From there, he molds an orthotic to correct problems unique to each patient.

"It's a flexible material, but it's also hard," he said.

Before you try orthotics, Tobin recommends correcting foot motion problems with the right shoes or other over-the-counter products.

Some stores may specialize in shoes that correct feet that tend to tilt in or out. The right support system within a shoe can be pricey.

Special sock liners to replace the thin factory insole are like orthotics and cost between $15 to $30. Wood found the right shoes and a custom orthotic cured his problems.

"I'm purchasing a more cushioned shoe, because once again, the orthotic is taking care of those motion issues," he said.

Tobin said even the best running shoes have special shock absorbing mid-soles that only last about four to six months. He said if the outside of the shoe does not look worn, it may not protect your feet as well.