A Step Ahead - City Surf Run Edition
Edward Pickersgill, Podiatrist
As thousands across Sydney prepare for the annual City to Surf fun run on 10 August, I thought I’d provide some simple pointers.
Find the right fit
I’ve recently been treating patients suffering from ill-fitting or inappropriate sports footwear – and the effects can be profound. There is a shoe for you. Take the time to find it. Each of the major brands offers a variety of models, catering for those with high arches, people with flatter feet and everything in between.
It’s very important to do your homework. Running shoes are prone to style fads, so it’s crucial that you understand the pros and cons of each model, taking into account the type of activity you plan to be doing.
To find the right shoe and the right fit, try these simple tests:
- The shoe should flex at your big toe joint
- There should be about a thumb-nail’s space between the end of the shoe and your longest toe (remember that some of us have a longer second toe than big toe)
- Check that the shoe’s seams don’t rub across your foot’s bony bits, as this can lead to skin irritation or blisters
- Make sure the shoe feels comfortable and supportive.
Take your time in the store to test the shoe thoroughly and ensure it’s right for you. And a bit of insider information – from mid-morning onwards is the best time to try on shoes to get the best fit.
Lace it up
Once you’ve selected a shoe, the way you lace it can make a big difference to comfort, support and control. There are five main lacing techniques, including ‘volume lacing’ and ‘lock lacing’. Ask your footwear fitter for help or pop in to Montrose to receive a free lacing handout.
When it’s time to say goodbye …
Please be mindful of the lifespan of your sports shoes. We tend to keep our running shoes for far too long. A good-quality sports shoe should last between 300 and 500 kilometres. Of course, this will vary depending on you and how you’re using your shoes.
To find out if it might be time to update your runners, put your shoe on a flat surface and look at the heel from the rear. If the base has worn significantly, the tread is peeling from the sole or if you can easily compress the rubber sole between your thumb and forefinger, then it’s probably time for an upgrade. And the simplest test of all – if you experience pain after you run, you should look at your shoes.
Don’t forget to stretch
After exercise, make sure you take the time to stretch. Focus on areas where you feel tightness. Make sure you attempt stretches that are suitable for your age and body type, and focus on the correct technique. Walking for a short time before and after you run is also beneficial.
We’re here to help
If you do suffer an injury to your feet or lower limbs before or during a run, remember that sports podiatrists are equipped to help with injury prevention and management. I can help get you on the mend and make a full recovery. Finally, I wish all the walkers and runners out there a safe and happy City to Surf.