One of the advantages of running and walking for fitness, is that you need just a few basics to get started, and some might already be in your closet. Unlike some sports where the list of equipment can be long and expensive, runners need just a few things – comfortable and breathable clothing, sweat-wicking socks, running shoes and optionally a watch or other means of timing your run. Of these four things, running shoes are the most important. Running with incorrectly fitting shoes may not only make your run uncomfortable but may also increase your risk of injury.
Shoes designed for running have much more padding than regular shoes and flex in the way runners need them to flex. Running shoe models are designed for the three different foot types: neutral arch, low arch, and high arch. Running shoes provide structure and cushioning and have seamless construction to eliminate points of rubbing that can lead to blisters.
As a walker, should you wear running shoes? The answer depends on how many miles you walk at a time. Walkers need less cushioning than runners, so you can wear a lighter shoe that still provides adequate cushioning. Walkers can benefit from wearing running shoes, especially those who walk for over one hour or are looking to transition to a run/walk program.
Did you know that choosing the correct shoe starts with determining your foot type? Dr. Katherine Coyner, an orthopedic and sports medicine physician from UConn Health and team physician for the UConn Huskies, explains in her article titled “Finding the Right Running Shoe”.
As you progress in your training, you’ll learn which shoe brands and styles work best for you. With the guidance of an experienced sales person, trained in fitting shoes, you’ll not only enjoy your runs but avoid injury too. Two popular running stores in CT are Fleet Feet in West Hartford and soundRunner in Glastonbury. They are known for their experienced staff members and carry a wide variety of shoe brands, clothing, and accessories. On-line ordering, curbside fittings and pickup are currently available. Both stores plan to reopen on May 20. Check their websites or call for more details.