Running Shoes? A Happy Feet Investment

3rd place division finish.. I love running!

I am hooked!

If you are like me, a want-to-be better runner, one place to start is your shoes. Happy feet for a happy run! I started my running quest last fall when a friend asked me to run a charity 5K. My first thought,  “I hate running”, but would give it a shot.  Just to be clear, my history with running has been more of a punishment in competitive sports. I finished 3rd in my age division and admit at that point I was hooked. I am a competitor at heart and liked the fact that I could still compete in activities.  As my passion for running grew, so did my desire for the right apparrel and equipment.  Selecting running shoes usually involved a quick trip to the department store to buy a pair on sale. So, basically the cheaper the better.  It’s the runner’s form not the shoe, right?

Loving my morning run

A very hilly morning run

I found with my self-selected, cheaper version of running shoes my feet hurt and occassionally would experience tingling in my toes, as though I had a pinched nerve. After talking with a few of my experienced runner friends, I ventured out to invest in a pair of better running shoes.

Off with the old tired soles

Off with the old tired soles

I was lucky to find Kyle’s Bikes in Ankeny, Iowa. Kyle’s Bikes, like other outdoor active sports stores, offers a great selection of shoes paired with the latest technology. At Kyle’s they have the Dartfish gait analysis, which examines your posture and foot strike when running. This latest technology helps to place you in a more appropiate shoe.
Not being an experienced runner,  I was excited about finding a shoe that could make my feet feel better during and after my short distance runs. So, off to the shop where I met Bill Lorenz, otherwise known as the “Guru of shoe.”  Bill was extremely helpful pointing out that losing a toenail should not be a right of passage for runners to celebrate. This happens when the toenail bed is bruised and could be the result of the shoe being to tight or small. He advised that buying a running shoe the same size as your dress shoes is not the right approach. On average, running shoes should be a half size to full size bigger to allow feet to swell during a run.  Running shoes, just like any shoe have a mile limit. The mileage limit depends on the brand, but usually should be replaced an average of 300-400 miles. Bill suggests purchasing a new pair about half way through your mileage and alternate from old to new to help extend the life of each pair.

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Happy Runner

After selecting a shoe size just a half size bigger and performing the Dartfish Gait Analysis, we selected the perfect shoe in the perfect color. What a difference it made. My feet and body are very happy and the investment is worth it to my health and safety. No matter what level runner you may be, consider seeking an expert like Bill to help you find the right fit shoe. It can help you stay happy and healthy. Now, off to some 5Ks this summer.

Happy Running!

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Written by Nikki Stahr, Registered Dietitian with Live Healthy Iowa 
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About Iowa Sports Foundation

The Iowa Sports Foundation mission is to provide sports, recreation, health and wellness opportunities for Iowans of all abilities.
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