A Shoe, Is It A Sign
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A Shoe

Whenever I ponder about the topic of shoes, the first thing that snaps to my mind is the Monty Python scene from the 'Life of Brian'. The shoe has been with us for millennia and plays a great role in running. It is probably the only tool a runner needs - unless of course you are running barefoot - yet most of us do not have the courage or the environment where it would be safe to do so. I dream of one day living on a beach and running each morning on nice clean sand, but until that time, it's shoes that I will need.

Strictly From an Amateur Perspective

Having been running now regularly for a year with about 800 miles under my belt (of which nearly half were on a treadmill), I can honestly say that I downplayed the role the shoe plays until I stepped outdoors. As opposed to pavement and grass, a treadmill provides great cushioning. The impact of hitting the ground is absorbed by the treadmill and does not transfer as much to the legs. When I started running outside, the first thing I noticed was that I needed insoles, which make a huge difference to the knees and hips.

What Shoe Should I Get?

To be honest, at the stage I am in with my running, I have not gone out and invested heavily in my shoes. I actually went and bought just an average pair of running shoes. My main focus was on their size. Why? Because for running it is best to have shoes 1/2, 1 size or even 1.5 size larger then what you would normally wear. Stu Mittleman goes as far as saying that once you reach a shoe size in which you feel like a clown, go down to the previous size before that and they are your optimal sized shoes for running.

Why Clown Sized Shoes?

As you run - first making impact with your heal and then transferring to the toes, the energy goes forwards. If your shoe is too small, that energy meets resistance and bounces back, effecting your calves and knees. Having a larger shoe releases the energy outwards. Try it, makes a huge difference.

Another important point is not to tie the shoes tightly. Keep them loose - and get yourself lace ties - you will not need to worry about laces untying.

On the treadmill it is not as noticeable, but when you run outside on uneven surfaces, you will appreciate having a lose fitting shoe. I noticed on several occasions where my foot slipped, that the shoe turned, but the foot remained in the correct position and not twisting - which would have occurred if the shoe was on tight.

So whichever shoe you chose, make sure it is comfortable and loose and that you have good insoles. What size shoes are you currently wearing for running?


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