Be mindful of your footwear choices
It’s been a little while since we’ve chatted, friends. It’s Coach Tip Tuesday!!
I’m actually a little surprised it took me this long to discuss this topic because it’s one that I preach a lot and one that I deal with *literally* almost daily.
This week’s tip is to monitor your footwear choices ALL the time. I know, I know. You’re about to be like, “But Coach Laura!! I NEED to wear my cute four-inch heels!!” Or you’re about to say, “But I’m only walking. It doesn’t matter.” False, friends. FALSE.
If you run, you’ve likely come to realization that you need to have good footwear to run in to properly support your feet, biomechanical structures, and to help prevent running-related injuries (and if you haven’t come to this realization, that’s an entirely different conversation all on its own). And that’s wonderful that you’ve come to that realization!! What I want to say to you all is this, though. If you need good, supportive, well-fitting footwear while you’re running, why don’t you need it the rest of the time?? Does your body magically not need support the rest of your day?? If that’s the case, you’re the only human I know who doesn’t need proper support.
So many of the athletes who I work for and the customers who come into Fleet Feet Sports Syracuse who I talk to wonder why their feet hurt or why they’re injured. They’ve made the investment in good running shoes, and they are completely mystified when it comes to why their feet, knees, back, etc. could possibly be hurting. 80% of the time, it’s related to the footwear choices that they’re making when they’re NOT running: cheap flip flops from Old Navy; old sneakers that are too broken down to be supportive; high heels that cause imbalances and a shortening of all of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the lower legs; shoes like Chuck Taylors that provide absolutely no support at all, etc. We live in a concrete oasis, and we’re not like our ancestors from 10,000 years ago who were biomechanically adapted to traverse unstable terrain every day. Today’s humans need proper footwear all the time.
It’s tough to hear, but a good pair of shoes and a good insert (not a sock liner, an insert - most shoes do not have arch support built into them) cost wayyy less than an injury does, my friends. (Don’t find this out for yourself and just accept my first-hand experience with this as all the experience you need. ;) ) Don’t try to get an extra few miles or months out of your shoes when you know they’ve run their last miles. Don’t sacrifice your health because that pair of heels matches your outfit *just* right. Also be sure to make the choices that are right for YOU. They make inserts for dress shoes or flats for those of you who are working professionals. They also make sandals with arch support!! And just because a certain brand or model works for your friend doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice for you, your foot shape, your medical history, etc. Shoe manufacturers are like car manufacturers and they update the models annually. This means that even the same shoe that has worked for you in the past may not work for you this year. It’s worth taking the time (and all it typically is is 15-20 minutes) to make sure that the shoe and/or insert is working for YOU and your goals.
We spend A TON of time on our feet. Whether it’s walking, running, going to Wegmans, or playing the backyard with the kids, we’re on our feet CONSTANTLY. We’re asking so much of them!! How would you feel if something that weighed 100+ pounds was putting pressure on you for several hours a day?? Do your feet and you a favor and mindfully consider your footwear choices all of the time.
If you have questions about this, as always I’m happy to discuss it with you. You can also come visit me and my amigos at Fleet Feet Sports Syracuse!! I can’t fit anyone for shoes these days thanks to Vader 3.0, but I know what I’m talking about regarding recommendations, and my amigos can go through the full fit process with you to make sure you’re set up for success. :) Thank your feet for supporting you and the activities you do ALL day long by making good choices for them.