Whether you prefer to pound asphalt, trails, mountains, or anything in between, Arizona offers its residents a myriad of choices in terms of when, where, and how they run. Once a year, however, most of Arizona’s avid runners converge at 200 North Centennial Way to choose asphalt for the day at the annual Phoenix Marathon.
The Phoenix Marathon may be a different type of running, or landscape, than you are normally used to. Though it’s only one day, running 26.2 miles can put a lot of stress on the body, especially the feet. To avoid injury, look for the proper running shoes to protect yourself from foreign terrains.
Typically, the first step is to determine the type of running that you’ll be doing. If you’re running the Phoenix Marathon, on February 25th you’ll be a regular road-runner. Road-running shoes are designed to protect your feet from the pavement by cushioning and stabilizing your feet during continued contact with even, hard surfaces.
The next step is finding the correct road-running shoes for your running style. Running style is most affected by the kind of arch or foot shape you have. There are three main foot shapes: flat, neutral, and high arched. Each has a different inclination to rolling either inward or outward. If you don’t know the kind of arch you have, Runner’s World suggests doing the wet test, a simple at home test to determine your arch, or check the wear on your old running sneakers to determine what area of the foot makes the most contact with the ground.
Neutral arches tend to keep the wear centralized, on the ball of the foot and the heel. Flat feet tend towards over-pronation, causing the foot to roll inward while feet with high arches experience supination, or under-pronation, that causes the foot to roll outward.
Each requires a different style of road-running shoe to correct the natural form of your feet. Our flat-footed friends should look for running shoes that advertise motion control and stability. Runners with high arches should look for flexible shoes with a soft mid-sole that are cushioned to absorb shock. While people with neutral arching feet can choose from a variety of road-running shoes, they have to be careful to avoid the running shoes for other foot types, as to not correct a problem that doesn’t exist.
Ready to find the right fit? Our friends and experts at Sole Sports Running Zone can assist you in finding the right shoe for your needs. As always, if you have additional questions about running and injury prevention, contact your local Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Clinic today. Happy running!