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Cheap Trainers are a bad investment

Posted 7 October 2013
Written by Steve Griffin

image of quality trainers‚Äč
Would you put cheap tyres on your car? So why buy the cheapest trainers you can to run in? Invest in your body!

Wimbledon this year appeared to have more injuries than usual, the sight of lots of blue and pink K-tape and lots of slipping on court. This created a lot of discussion about the court condition and the players’ footwear.

It got me thinking about footwear. In the clinic we see a lot of people with injuries where footwear may have played a contributing part, both over use type injuries and also acute sprains and strains. The contact of the footwear with the surface and the interaction of your foot with the shoe are both vitally important for preventing injury and maximising your performance and enjoyment.

We advise lots of people on the interaction of their foot with a trainer. It is so important that shoes compliment your foot, especially when more force is impacting them as in running. When you think that if you run a marathon (26.2 miles) you take around 46,000 steps that is a lot of contacts particularly if your foot isn’t being well supported. Resulting injuries aren’t always located in the foot area, but knee, hip and back pain can definitely be caused from poor, worn out or wrong trainers.

Buying the correct trainer is not always a straight forward affair. You enter a shop and hear lots of jargon about pronation, cushioning and barefoot running (to name but a few!). This can be very overwhelming. On the whole we recommend that if you take your running seriously, buy serious running shoes from a proper running shop, where the assistants know something about footwear. If they have you in any doubt, walk out, try somewhere different till you find somewhere that can help you.

Your Physio will assist you in what type of trainers you require. We are happy to observe you run and can do video analysis of your gait as part of your treatment. This can help you go into a shop pre-armed! We sometimes recommend orthotics, these are insoles that you put into your shoes and fit the floor to your foot (not your foot to the floor). If you fall into this category of patient we often trial you in an off the shelf orthotic to see if it helps, as the next step is custom made which although obviously better come at an expense!

Not to forget how important the grip of your footwear is. If this is inadequate for the job you are more likely to slip, which can happen in anything from hill walking to hockey. We have to check the tread on our car tyres and legally replace when they are worn enough to be deemed dangerous and not safe to hold your car to the road. Likewise it important that we replace our footwear if the tread is worn too!

If you have any questions on trainers and footwear we are more than happy to help!

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