Tips on How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for YOU and Your Running Form

Tips on How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for YOU and Your Running Form

It can be confusing and overwhelming to choose what kind of running shoes that are best for you, your feet, and your running style. Below, we describe a couple simple things you can do when trying on shoes to quickly get an idea of if the shoe is right for for you.

But before we get into that, a couple Austin runner resources for you:

– Click here if you know you want to learn some of the most important running-injury prevention exercises.

– If you’re already dealing with a running injury in Austin, you can request a completely free consultation with a running-expert physical therapist here. We can quickly figure out what’s causing your pain and limiting your mileage without it costing you a dime.

I recently asked one of our running injury and running shoe specialists his advice on how to pick the best running shoe, and this was his response:

If you go to a running store you might find 50, 60, or 70 different options to choose from. It can be overwhelming even for me.

The reality is there are a lot of different options for a lot of different running forms. One of the things we hear from our runner patients who have visited a few running shoe stores is, “I totally over pronate.” 

You know, I’m not sure how the shoe store attendant is assessing overpronation or if they are properly trained to know how much pronation is normal and how much is too much. Pronation is not a bad thing. We NEED to pronate … It’s appropriate and it’s how we transport forces around the body.

Most people don’t need highly corrective, high arch support, running shoes. When we over-correct runner’s feet, it tends to create a lot more problems and can lead to new injuries as they run.

We should allow the foot to move appropriately and normally, and utilize shoe correction and/or orthotics only as much as necessary.

So whenever you go to a running shoe store in Austin, one way they have you assess a running shoe is by jogging on their treadmill for a minute or two. That’s not really enough time to truly evaluate a running shoe. You don’t really know what a shoes will do to your feet until you get home and start running 3, 4, 5 miles or more.

So what can you do at your favorite Austin running store to help choose the right running shoe?

1) One thing I have my running patients do is to balance on one foot (wearing the new shoe) for 30 seconds. If you’re all over the place and you can’t control your balance, it’s probably not the best shoe for you.

2) Another thing I have them do is a single-leg squat while wearing the new shoe. If the shoe helps you feel more stable with a single-leg squat than you feel with other shoes or while barefoot, it might be a good shoe for you.

Again, you can’t really know if a running shoe is right for you till you get out for a few good runs, but unfortunately most stores won’t take back shoes that’ve been used on actual runs. So the way you can test out your new running shoe options while in the running shoe store is single-leg balance and single-leg squat … The one that makes you feel most stable and balanced is likely gonna be the best shoe for you.

Here are some more resources for runners in Austin:

Enjoy Trail Running? Click here to learn about our favorite 5 trail runs in Austin (includes descriptions of the runs, difficulty levels, and map locations)

Click here to learn some really important exercises for runners and how to prevent one of the most common causes of running injury

If you know you want to learn some of the most important running-injury prevention exercises, click here to check them out.

If you’re already dealing with a running injury in Austin, click here or the orange buttons above to request a completely free consultation with a running-expert physical therapist. We can quickly figure out what’s causing your pain and limiting your mileage without it costing you a dime.



Is “Pretty Good” Good Enough?

Is “Pretty Good” Good Enough?

morning runners in AustinToday I’d like to share a cautionary tale we see very commonly in people who get injured but are doing really well with treatment and recovering nicely …

The person is starting to feel really good and they have returned to most of the activities that their pain was keeping the from. They are back on the trail running, playing with their kids around the house, or even back on the golf course playing the game they love.

At this point, when at a PT session, they will often say they “still feel it a little” but it is not much of a problem. This is where trouble can begin…

We know from experience that “pretty good” is not good enough, but at this point many will decide that the pain is is so minor, they don’t really need to continue treatment till it’s 100% gone.

I’ll explain exactly why this can cause big problems and cost them a lot more money than if they’d just completed that last 1 or 2 treatments and attained 100% recovery, but first let me tell my own story of making this same type of mistake.

I have a great example of my own experience with this when I was younger. I was in Mexico doing some work with local indigenous villages helping them build a school. I ate some local cuisine that I was assured was not washed with their water.  (more…)

“Why Did My Pain Come Back?”

Have you ever had an injury that you thought was resolved, but then some of the symptoms return a little while later? Did you think that you would have to live with this pain for the rest of your life?

Many of our patients tell us similar stories about a pain/injury that would resurface now and again, sometimes completely debilitating them or at least keeping them from being able to exercise for a while. And unfortunately many of them thought they would “just have to live with it” and occasionally be laid up by it … until they found us.


Part 3 – Why do I keep getting injured when I run?

Part 3 – Why do I keep getting injured when I run?

In part 2 of this article series we discussed the ways the foot can have a big impact on all the joints above and cause various forms of running injuries.

In part 3 below, we will discuss the critical role of the hips and pelvis, and their importance to running without pain and injury.

The hip, or coxofemoral joint, is a classic ball-and-socket joint that attaches to your pelvis. It is inherently a very stable joint due to the depth that it possesses, but hip muscle weakness is incredibly common problem among runners.

One of the distinct signs we look for as bio-mechanical experts is a hip drop or, “Trendelenburg sign,” during stance phase (when the foot is on the ground).

What that means is that when you are on one leg while running we are looking if that opposite hip drops (see image below). If it drops significantly compared to the other side we know that hip weakness is present. Hip weakness can be attributed to back, hip, knee, and foot pain. That’s how important it is!

Running injury in Austin Texas

So how can you tell if you have this type of hip weakness and what can you do about it?

See the Video below to find out if you’re at risk for injury due to hip weakness, and learn 3 quick exercises you can do fix the problem.


Part 1- Why do I keep getting the same injuries when I run?

Part 1- Why do I keep getting the same injuries when I run?

why you get the same running injuriesAre you frustrated with constantly dealing with same running injuries over and over again? The pain goes away with rest or treatment but then comes back as soon as you try to increase your mileage? You’re not alone! Austin is a great city to be a runner and we see a large number of runners at our physical therapy clinic. It’s not uncommon for a new patient to tell us that they are dealing with an injury that pops up ever time they try to increase the distance of their runs past a certain point.  Ex: “I can do 3 mile runs everyday and feel fine, but as soon as I try to push past the 5 mile distance, my calf starts hurting again.” Sound familiar?

Research has shown that up to 80% of runners will experience some injury during their running lives. When you run, you experience 2-3 times the force of your own body-weight with every step! Over the course of a run you experience an extreme amount of force through your joints and soft tissues, which can lead to repetitive strain injury if those forces are not well balanced and minimized by muscular-stabilization of the joints.

The key to completely resolving a running injury once and for all is to identify and resolve ALL of the underlying causes of the problem. In today’s unfortunate healthcare world, clinicians are often forced to see many more patients per day than they should. If a patient has knee pain, they only have time to look at the knee … but as you’ll see below and in the next two articles, this will often lead to missing the whole story, and therefore failing to address why you keep getting the same running injuries over and over again.

If you’re currently dealing with any pain during or after your runs, we can help you figure out the causes of your pain and create a plan to getting of it completely for free … request a free consultation here, and put an end to limiting your mileage.


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