Has anyone noticed the increase in health, sport and fitness programmes on the tv recently? Obviously this has something to do with the Olympics which are starting on Friday, lets hope that once the Olympics are over health and fitness still gets the same amount of coverage. One such programme that I watched last week was the panorama programme on sports products, very interesting, finally the claims that sports drinks and protein shakes have been making for years are being rubbished, sometimes I think people should have just listened to me! However, I slightly disagree with the programmes view with regards to training shoes. Now I’m talking specifically about running shoes here. I think shoes are very important in running and injury prevention. Running places a lot of stress through the arches of the foot and these arches need to be supported. If there is no arch support in running shoes and someone is running long distances or on a regular basis this stress could cause a weakening or collapsing in the arch leading to possible plantar fasciitis, which is killer pain! Collapsed arches or severe pronation can have knock on effects in knees, hips and backs. Over summer we see an increase in knee, hip and back pain in our sports injury clinics which are usually related to pronating feet made worse by wearing flip flops. Flip flops have no arch support (unless you wear expensive sport flip flops) therefore the arch is placed under strain that it isn’t normally subjected to. Imagine running in flip flops! You wouldn’t, not only because you would trip but because there is no support for your feet. Your feet need support when running to prevent not only excessive pronation and rolling of the foot but for comfort. Comfort has to come into the equation because if your feet aren’t comfortable this will prevent you from running in your normal gait pattern and cause further injuries for overcompensating. Therefore unlike the programme I believe that feet need protection, support and comfort to prevent injuries. Remember prevention is better than cure so why risk wearing shoes that don’t suit your natural foot shape and gait.
Look after your feet and your feet will look after the rest of you!