Running shoe selection and advice

Do you need help choosing your next pair of running shoes?

Choosing running shoes isn’t easy, with so many makes and models available, the decision can be mindbogglingly complicated and that’s before you’ve even begun to consider your individual needs.

This service uses a detailed questionnaire (sample on left) to obtain all of the background information we need to provide a list of great shoe choices for you to try in your running training and racing mix.

To give you an idea of how seriously we take this service; the questionnaire covers some 30+ questions about your injury history, running goals and aspirations, current fitness, performance levels, feet and your running technique.

A comprehensive analysis of where you’re at today to help choose the right shoes for tomorrow

You can even upload a photo of your current pair of shoes so we can check-out your wear patterns. It’s all based on the experience of Melbourne Running Company Founder Mark Gorski (specialty running retailer and coach) and Running Technique author and coach Brian Martin.

How you run is more important than the shape of your foot

Provide us with links to online videos of you running using video sharing services such as YouTube or apps such as Coach’s Eye which enable you to record video via your smart phone or tablet and share online.

Capture rear & side view footage of you running. Please keep videos to <1 min in length

What you get – a shoe prescription

We give you several model recommendations in each of four categories: daily trainer, light weight trainer, racing shoe and technique training shoe.

Access your prescription online and ask questions as you shop for your running shoes

Why do I need more than one shoe model?

Different shoes for different purposes is something serious runners know about but it’s often overlooked that recreational runners of any ability level can benefit from having a few different makes and models to rotate during the week.

Shoe recommendations relevant and tailored to the individual

We select a mix of shoes for you based around this indicative structure. Which shoes sit in each of the four categories will very much depend on your running history, goals, strength and technical ability. We suggest two to three shoe models per category to try when you visit your shoe retailer or shop online.

Daily Trainer, Long Run Shoe

The purpose of this shoe is to provide cushioning and/or enough support to the runner for the majority of their weekly mileage, especially longer runs or runs where they are not focusing on any technique changes. Shoes recommended in this category generally come from the more traditional range and some lighter weight options. It will not necessarily be comprised of the most cushioned or structured shoe – very dependent on your background.

Lightweight Trainer/Tempo Running Shoe

These shoes still provide the runner with some cushioning and support (if needed) but in a much lighter weight and responsive package. Initially these shoes can be used for short to medium length runs and tempo running or longer intervals. As technique and strength is improved these shoes usually become the daily trainer option for most runners.

Interval/Repetition/Racing Shoe

For those runners doing a bit more of structured training mix and some racing it’s a good idea to have a fast pair of shoes handy. These shoes tend to be lighter, flatter and generally have less of everything than your regular trainer, whilst maintaining some stiffness to give you some help through the tough patches in a race. You don’t need to be an elite athlete to wear these types of shoes, you just need wear them at the appropriate times and get the one that suits your needs and strength levels.

Short Runs/Technique Change Facilitation/Strength and Conditioning Shoe

This is the category where all the minimalist running shoes fulfill their potential. Shoes in this range tend to be flatter i.e. 8mm heel, toe drop or less, light and very flexible. These shoes are prescribed as a strength building and technique facilitator. Initially small amounts of running and/or strength/gym is the best way accustom yourself to the lack of support and increased flexibility.

As you adapt and combine strength training into your program the amount of running done in these shoes can be increased. Most runners who adapt slowly and within themselves find running in these shoes becomes more enjoyable and their reliance on the Daily Trainer category becomes smaller.

Lifestyle Shoes

For a fair number of runners the very first step in transitioning into lighter and lower drop (heel-toe ratio) shoes is to simply start walking around in them as part of their day-to-day lifestyle. In our experience the practice of walking around in relatively flat shoes can be a catalyst for change without placing too much strain or pressure on the body.

Selecting shoes is not about the shape of your foot

There is no scientific evidence to back the claims that a certain foot type will be linked to over-pronation or other problems. The running shoe industry is moving on, but  the process will be slow and many retailers use outdated and unhelpful methods to assess your shoe needs on the basis of the shape of your foot.

While it’s been known for a while that scientists were struggling to prove any linkage between shoe prescription by foot-type and reductions in injury rates, Peter Larson and Bill Katovsky, in their book Tread Lightly have pretty much put this baby to bed by logically stepping through the available scientific studies and expert opinion to draw the following important conclusions:

  1. foot-type based prescription doesn’t work and may indeed lead to more injuries
  2. pronation is not actually controlled by motion control or stability shoes
  3. pronation is a natural function of the foot
  4. retail gait analysis systems are not accurate enough to detect pronation; and
  5. finally pronation hasn’t been linked to increased rate of injury

So our take is that point five is the most telling, but the other four serve to underscore that many shoe companies and retailers currently don’t have a great process for recommending shoes.

Personal Running Shoe Selection Service $49 AUD



 

 

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