With the endless amount of running footwear options on the market today, it’s easier than ever to select the wrong running shoes. Some people shop based solely on style, while others prioritize lower price points.
However, it’s most important to pick out running shoes that support your running style to keep your feet comfortable, prevent injury, and improve overall performance. The wrong running shoes can result in unnecessary pain and injuries. In fact, if you’re experiencing persistent foot, ankle, and even knee pain from running, your shoes could be the culprit.
So how do you determine whether your running shoes are to blame? Check out these 6 common signs you’re wearing the wrong shoes for running!
1. Your Feet Ache During or After Your Run
With your feet being the foundation of your stride, how they hit the ground when running will determine how they feel during and after your run. Having heel or arch pain during or after your runs is a sign that your shoes may be too big and lack necessary support, causing your foot muscles to tighten during your entire run. In severe cases, this can lead to an overuse injury and chronic pain. To avoid this, it’s important to make sure you have running shoes with a snug fit and that they properly secure and support your feet.
2. You Develop Blisters, Calluses, and Corns
It’s a common misconception that getting blisters, calluses, and corns from running just comes with the territory. However, with the right running shoes, this shouldn’t be the case. Blisters, calluses, and corns are caused by prolonged pressure and friction from your shoes rubbing your feet and toes. This can be from shoes that are too narrow, too tight, or when the supportive material inside wears down. Once you start noticing that you’re forming blisters, calluses, or corns you should stop wearing your current running shoes and look for a pair that offer the fit and support necessary for your run.
3. Toenail Loss or Bruising
Many people believe that the tighter the running shoes the better. However, wearing running shoes that are too small or tight can bruise your toes and even cause blackening of your toenails or toenail lose; commonly known as jogger’s toe. It can even lead to the development of corns and ingrown toenails. Your toes shouldn’t touch the end of your shoes when you run, even downhill. If you’re experiencing bruises on your toenails or losing toenails, you probably need to size up by half a size. To be on the safe side, when buying new running shoes leave a thumb’s width space between the tip of your longest toe and the front of your shoes.
4. The Shoes Are Old
Most people continue to wear their running shoes long after they’ve lost their ability to properly support their feet. If you want to stay injury free and keep your joints healthy, you should change out your running shoes regularly. If your shoes are old and worn, they might not be a good fit or as supportive. Creases and flattening of the sole are signs that your shoes are too old. Typically, it’s a good idea to get new running shoes every 6 months or 400 miles.
5. You Develop Plantar Fasciitis
Your plantar fascia is a long band of connective tissue that connects your heel to your toes. When this band becomes inflamed, you can develop plantar fasciitis which leads to heel pain. This can be caused by running on hard surfaces in the wrong shoes. Your heels make constant contact with the ground as you run, and if you don’t have supportive shoes, it can lead to unnecessary injury. Look for running shoes that have enough support and cushion to absorb the shock and protect your heels.
6. You Develop Tendonitis
Proper ankle support is just as important as foot support for running. Improper support can lead to tendonitis, causing tenderness, pain, and swelling in your Achilles tendon, ankles, and feet. This typically stems from shoes that don’t provide enough support, allowing the ankle to roll inside with each step. If you’ve developed tendonitis from running or want to avoid it, make sure you have shoes that provide enough support for your feet and your ankles.
Choosing the right running shoe is crucial for your performance and health. You should make sure your shoes are the right size, have enough support and cushion, and fit snugly without being overly tight. Once you’ve found a shoe with the right fit and support for your feet and running style, it’s best to stick with it.