As an ultra-distance trail runner what I wear on my feet and how I feel in my shoes is important as they are what enables me to leap and jump or trip and fall during training runs and ultra-trail racing. For me, I like a shoe with minimal support, light weight, good tread and most importantly looks awesome.
Footwear, whilst at the very bottom of your body affects the whole mechanical systems that allows you to perform at your optimum. I used to run and roll in on my left foot, which caused my arch to start to collapse and created a lot of pain, I then started to change the way I ran to avoid this, in turn my hip and lower back started to hurt… the ripple effect! After some gait analysis at Footpro I was made some custom insoles to help relieve the impact on my arch and instantly returned to a more efficient running style that allowed me to train and race harder.
Most girls have thousands of high heels, I have thousands of runners and I think it is important to rotate shoes in order to get more life out of them, to maintain support and tread and also to have variety for the different terrains that you may encounter. I have a pair of trail/road hybrid shoes, shoes with teeth for tread for muddy and icy surfaces, light shoes for running light and easy and my race shoes for when it is most important that I feel comfortable and sure-footed.
If I had one story on footwear it would be when I was preparing for The Big Red Run, a 250km 7 day race across the Simpson Desert where I was supported by The North Face and was so excited when I received a box of gear and 3 pairs of shoes. I had tried two pairs, and the day before I left I wanted to give the other pair a go… Bad idea! Within 10km I had put a massive bubble on the back of my heel as we bussed out into the sandy desert. 7 days, 250km, sand, stones, no showers and after running in the two pairs that were tried and tested, I finished the race without any hot-spots or blisters except the one blister I got running in those trainers on the day before the race….. Whoops!
Keeping your feet comfortable and allowing your body to follow its biomechanics without hindering its movements is so important for physical exercise and everyday life; you are able to do more with a reduced risk of injury, less sore feet and find a new-found energy. I would recommend getting a gait analysis and assisting your feet in doing all that you aspire to achieve, for me it means I can run many more miles.