Local Expert Blog: Will Your Running Shoes Pass These Tests? Four Tests To Determine Running Shoe Stability

Saturday April 20th, 2019

Posted at 11:00am

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Will Your Running Shoes Pass These Tests?

Four Tests To Determine Running Shoe Stability

It isn’t too long after you walk into a running shoe store that you’re overwhelmed by the multiplicity of choices confronting you.  A myriad of shapes and colours, styles and functions — choice abounds.  Take comfort in the fact that there is a purpose to all of these options.  Running shoe design has evolved over the years with an emphasis towards function, and rightfully so.  We ask a lot from our feet. The human foot is a highly developed, biomechanically complex structure that serves to bear the weight of the body as well as forces many times the weight of the human body. Countless hours of standing and walking, jogging or running take their toll. As such, we need to protect our feet from the wear and tear of everyday life. The right running shoes, chosen with an eye towards design, function, and fit, can do this important job.

When selecting shoes, it is critical to determine whether the shoe provides the necessary support in the proper areas. A good running shoe should be built with light-weight material and, as discussed in a previous blog, must provide adequate shock absorption and motion control while retaining its support and flexibility to accommodate the foot as it propels the body through motion.

To test how your shoe measures up, try the following shoe tests:

1. The Dishrag Test – Place one of your hands at the front and the other at the rear of the shoe and then twist each end in the opposite direction. It is normal for the shoe to have capability to twist slightly but, if you can wring it out like a dishrag, it will not have adequate motion control.

2. The Pinch Test – Grasp the shoe just above the mid-sole using your index finger and thumb at the area of the heel counter. You should not be able to collapse this area. Also place your thumb on the top of the back of the heel counter (where the tab is usually), and try to push it in. Again, you should not be able to do this. Ideally, a rigid heel counter is what you are looking for as this stabilizes the rear-foot, which in turn ensures forefoot stability.

3. The Fold Test – This test involves attempting to bend the shoe so that it folds in half. If it indeed folds in half, it will not provide stability through the mid-foot. Your shoe must have flexibility in the forefoot so you can generate power to propel you forward when walking. Ideally, you want the shoe to fold at the ball of the foot (metatarsal heads) at an angle of 30 degrees. If the shoe is too stiff, more force is required to bend the shoe and this can result in fatigued muscles and shin splints.

4. The Shelf Test – This one is easy and only requires observation.  Place the shoes on a shelf so that you can get a good look at them from behind. Notice if they are slanting inwards or outwards. If they are slanted, this puts your feet at a disadvantage from the start. The back of the heel should fall within the midline of the midsole and both shoes should be symmetrical.If you find that your shoes are not meeting these requirements it is certainly time to find a new pair to minimize the stress on your feet. Obvious to this discussion would be to also consider the benefits of the shoes arch support. Some shoes have adequate arch support while others will need the extra help provided by orthotics. If you have concerns about your arch support, contact your health care practitioner to see if you need additional support in this area or if you have concerns that your feet are simply not measuring up against daily wear and tear. Now get out and explore wherever your happy feet take you.

Sponsored story by Aspire Wellness. Visit their Facebook page here, email them at [email protected], give them a call at (519) 997-3707, or visit them at 3194 Dougall Avenue in Windsor.

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