Brighton Marathon & BM10K runners - are you running in the right trainers?

Friday 11th December 2015

Brighton Marathon and BM10K runners - are you running in the right trainers?

When it comes to running gear, the shoes you wear during training are going to be the most important piece of kit you own. Choosing the right pair is an important investment; over the coming months of training you will be spending a lot of time in them. The right pair for you will give you not only a comfortable ride but will also play a crucial role in keeping you free from injury and on top running form. As official physio of the Brighton Marathon, we see many runners with injuries that may have been prevented by wearing the correct pair of trainers- shin splints and achilles tendon issues in particular.

So how do you know if you and your trainers are a good match?

Running trainers are designed by sports companies with three main types of foot in mind- flat, neutral and with high arches.
Flat feet have dropped arches and tend to over pronate, or roll inwards onto the inside edge of the feet. If you fall into this category, it will be important to ensure you are in trainers that offer a higher level of support. Trainers for over-pronators will have a more structured arch support and a reinforced heel that act to give you stability as you land. This design restricts the degree of over pronation in order to keep your foot and ankle in a more neutral alignment, to try and make your running gait as biomechanically brilliant as possible.
High arched feet are the opposite of flat feet, where the feet tend to have rigid arches and supinate, or roll toward the outside edges of the feet as you land. Cushioned shoes with midsole padding are most suitable for this group. You're going to want trainers that offer cushioned support and enable the foot to stay mobile.
Neutral feet are the most biomechanically efficient of the three, where the arches are neither too flat nor too high. If you're a neutral footed runner, you can often run in most types of running footwear- a moderate stability shoe will give you enough support. There will generally be lighter and with minimum medial support.
Size-wise, most runners need to go up half a size to allow for some wiggle room within the toe box, whilst your heel should fit snugly into the heel of the shoe. If you're really not sure which type of footwear to go for, come and see us for some expert advice, or visit a running shop that offers gait analysis.

When is it time to swap your trainers for a new pair - are your shoes dead?

Did you know that the average marathon runner goes through 2 pairs of training shoes before they reach the finish line? The majority of running shoes have 250-400 miles in them before they need replacing. With use and over time the cushioning of your shoes becomes compressed and less effective at supporting your feet as they strike the ground and push off. You may see bucking through the inside edge of the shoe and into the arch support. Wearing dead running shoes can compromise your single leg stability, running gait and lead to unhappy feet (and compensatory injuries further up the chain).

Don't be tempted by the trends - buy the trainers to suit you!

Overall, the most important piece of advice we can give is to choose trainers that suit you and your feet. In the right pair, you should be able to run without any pain or niggles. We do see runners being pulled towards trends in footwear, particularly minimalist shoes that are modeled on the barefoot running movement. Unless you are a seasoned runner and have eased yourself gradually into training with this type of shoe, we wouldn't recommend jumping into this particular trend.

 In our latest video, we show you some tips for how to identify wear and tear on your running shoes so you know when to replace them. At Body Rehab Studios we check your trainers as part of your MOTassessment. These half price check-up appointments are offered exclusively to Brighton Marathon runners- call us for more information or to book your MOT today- 01273 746898.