Fit and Inserts

November 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footwear, Footwear Products, Sports 

In choosing footwear, fit is everything. You may buy a new pair of shoes, not get a good fit, and use them for short runs or races without much problem. But the longer you’ll be wearing them at a time, the more important the fit.

Here’s a trick to help get ensure a good fit.

Rich Schick, a physician’s assistant and ultrarunner, shared that he believes the key to getting the proper size shoe is the insert – often called insoles. “If the foot does not fit the insert, then the shoe will have to stretch to accommodate the difference or there may be excessive room in the shoe, which can lead to blisters and other foot problems.” He thinks there is too much confusion about straight lasts, curved lasts, semicurved lasts, and so on.

Rick suggests, and I agree, that you don’t need to know any of this if you use the insert to fit your shoes. The same holds true for the proper width of shoe. Simply remove the insert from the shoe and place your heel in the depression made for the heel (in the insert). There should be an inch to an inch and a half from the tip of your longest toe to the tip of the insert. None of your toes or any part of the foot should lap over the sides of the insert. If they do, is it because the insert is too narrow or is it because of a curved foot and straight insert or vice versa? The foot should not be more than about a quarter inch from the edges of the insert either. This includes the area around the heel, or the shoe may be too loose. Check to see if the arch of the insert fits in the arch of your foot. Finally, if all the above criteria are met, then try on the shoe. The only remaining pitfalls are tight toeboxes and seams or uppers that rub.

Remember to take into a account the type and thickness of socks you’ll be wearing. If you are going to replace the stock inserts that come with the shoes, make sure to follow this tip.

Foot Fetish

October 14, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Foot Care, Health 

I have always liked the prose “Foot Fetish” that Lisa BUtler, an ultrarunner, wrote about feet. I have included it at the front of each edition of Fixing Your Feet since the 3rd edition.  It’s short, but relevant to those of us who love sports. Here’s what Lisa wrote:

My feet are runner’s feet;
a little rough around the edges,
with black nails on the toes where I have nails at all
Lovingly decorated with bright colors.

My toes are warriors, of a sort.
They carry the entire continent of my body on adventures
and rise to challenges that could crush them.
Some days they are worn and calloused,
but they are strong and fierce adversaries for the
rocks they overtake.

My arches are the springboard of my soul.
They give me lift with every step I take
and cushion all my landings.
They are always ready
when I want to jump for joy.

My heels respond when the shepherd
of my spirit nips at them to run.
They strike again and again,
to thwart frustration,
to redeem the day.

My feet are runner’s feet;
a little rough around the edges,
but they are strong
and they are willing
and oh, I love them.

~ Lisa Butler, Ultrarunner

Adventure racer's feet from Raid the North Extreme

Adventure racer’s feet from Raid the North Extreme