In today’s difficult times, it is of utmost importance that we continue to focus on healthy, active lifestyles (while practicing proper social distancing measures), in order to be in our best physical and mental states of health.  That being said, as the spring season comes around, and the rain stops and the sun begins to shine, individual outdoor activities like hiking, walking and running will become more appealing to many people.  Whether you are a seasoned veteran when it comes to running with a couple miles under your belt, or a “newbie” looking for an activity with follows safe social practices and gets you in shape – as the warm weather ramps up we want to be sure we avoid foot pain and injuries as much as possible, with proper equipment and training methods.  Since the malls aren’t opened – and you may not have the in person ability to try on new shoes (everyone’s favorite part of the purchasing!) this week’s blog will focus on some easy, starter training tips, generalized shoe recommendations and “favorites”, along with a brief guideline to help you with your online shopping for your training gear in trying times.

Although most of you probably don’t need encouragement or an excuse to shop online, we hope to be able to make you as informed as possible without human to human interaction (COVID times call for COVID measures)!   You can even set-up an interactive gait and weight-bearing foot analysis through one of our highly trained physicians in the office if you need some extra help.

The first and most important thing to revving up your running career, new or old, is to begin gradually to avoid overuse or stress injuries; which tend to be common in the spring/early summer when people’s activity levels increase.  For real rookies to the sport, begin slowly…

  • Start with 20-30 mins a day alternating walking/running at a pace where you can still hold a conversation (guess in today’s world talking to yourself is a little more acceptable), gradually increase your distance or time on a weekly basis.
    One good recommendation is total # miles per total days a week participation.  IE. if you run 2 days a week, start with 2 miles total cumulative for the week, and gradually increase from there via increasing time spent or distant on a weekly to bi-weekly basis
  • Set a reasonable goal – 2-3 days a week is very reasonable for beginners and those that have been out of practice all winter long.
  • Get in Gear!!!  The best part about running, especially for beginners, is gear is minimal – a proper pair of shoes, and clothes with support/comfort you probably already own.  The second part of this blog will go over some popular shoes for men and women both from a collection of online reviews and personal interviews with high to mid caliber athletes we’ve combined in an easy lay out for you
  • Stay hydrated and well nourished!
  • Stretch, stretch, stretch… & strength training in your off days can be very beneficial
  • Finally, if something is painful, listen to your body; slow down, stretch it out, and if necessary rest for injury prevention.  Ultimately, if it is lingering or worsening seek treatment from a medical professional in a safe and timely manner.

Now for some running shoe favorites – for all levels of runners.  To obtain these shoe recs, I have (as I do every year) reviewed Runner’s World Shoe Review (it is a great resource and can be found online), as well as surveyed local runners from beginners to elite athletes for their input and favorites, as well as the American Podiatric Medical Association gives it’s seal of approval to many shoe brands of which you can’t go wrong with!  Finally, if you are new to the sport and are curious about what pronation, neutral or supination mean, or you have some painful/uncomfortable areas of your feet you can definitely from a safe social distance set up a Telemed appointment with one of our expert physicians for a gait and injury analysis which may help you in knowing which shoe gear is best for your new or old past time!

Shoes will be pictured in men’s or women’s, but all models are available in both men and women, colors do vary.

Any shoe with an ** falls into the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Approval, and I have reviewed those first.

** Asics GT 8000 

This is a model I personally wear, and is very popular among college competitive runners and road racers alike!  The newer model this year adds increased cushion and comfort, it is designed for mild over-pronaters or neutral runners and is available in a wider width online (the availability of the wider “D” width in store varies greatly from store to store).

Price point: around $120.00 for year to date model

** Hoka One One Rincon & Ironman Rincon (I like the colors on this one!)

A neutral shoe with a neutral/average amount of cushioning, providing a comfortable shoe for long runs.   Popular among marathoners and the running portion of the Ironman competitions.

Price Point:  ~ $110-120 for current year’s model

** ALTRA Torin 4 Plush

Soft, extra cushioned shoe, designed for comfort on long runs.  A great benefit to this model from ALTRA is it has a wider toebox, for less crowding and squishing of your toes, especially if you suffer from hammertoes, bunions, or a wider forefoot.  Pictured below is the women’s model, different colors available for men and women.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 V10

The above model name is certainly a mouthful, but New Balance is a great go to company for runners and walkers, of all ages and physical demands.  If you are new to the sport, (running or walking), and need a place to start – when stores reopen, the New Balance shoe shopping experience is like no other.  They have gait machines, and knowledgeable staff on hand to recommend shoe type for the individual.  One of the things I personally like the most about New Balance is they offer a wide range of wider width shoes in store, on hand to immediately accommodate a wide variety of needs.  The Fresh Foam X 1080 model is a great running shoe, redesigned to be soft, and fast.  Price Point ~ $150 for current year model.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

Over the years, Brooks has become more and more popular for distance runners, competitive and not.  Their GTS 19 (I believe the GTS 20 is also now available), is designed as a good, supportive shoe for neutral — over-pronaters alike, providing good arch support for a comfortable run.  The price point on these quality shoes is great too!  ~ $85 for the 19 model, ~$100-120 for the 20 model, available in men’s and women’s.

Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 2.0

This shoe is a neutral running shoe, designed with ample cushioning, for a comfortable, shock absorbing run, and light feel.  Popular model for men and women at all experience levels.

Price Point: ~$100

Finally the shoe with all the rumors and talks in the running world… the new Nike Zoom X Vaporfly Next %!  The name itself is a mouthful, and there has been a lot of talk with regards to this shoe in the amateur and professional running worlds.  The new model has 15% more foam, mainly placed in the forefoot to increase the efficiency of your toe-off stage of running, and thus increase your speed without losing cushioning, comfort or adding weight.  Personally, I have not tried these shoes, nor would I recommend them for beginners mainly due to the high price point that comes along with the “world’s fastest shoe”, which may not be very beneficial to a beginner.   I am sure overtime more and more racing shoes will begin to transition to a similar style, but if you’re looking for a highly praised, fast shoe this is it.  Price Point: $250 – it comes in many colors for men and women.

Remember – if you are new to the sport, start slow and steady, and if something hurts, or feels like it is too much, listen to your body and be careful.  Be sure to find a good, reliable source for stretching and training to maximize your benefits and minimize any risk of injury!

Hosey and Murphy Foot and Ankle Centers

May 2020

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