Running as a fitness tool or for enjoyment has hit its stride in the past decade. More people, of all ages, have realized the benefits that come from lacing up a pair of shoes and hitting the pavement.
But, it’s not that simple.
Before starting a running regimen, there are several factors you must consider in order to avoid injury and to make the experience more enjoyable. The most important first step is to be fitted in a pair of running shoes.
While choosing a shoe may not seem difficult, it’s important to be fitted properly by professionals in order to avoid injuries, according to Pacers & Racers owner Mike Stallings.
He said while a specific brand of shoe may work for one person, it could be totally wrong for another. While your buddy may wear Asics, New Balance may be the best shoe for you.
“Not one size fits all,” said Stallings, who opened his running store in New Albany in 1998.
Choosing the right shoe is a must in order to fully enjoy the 92 benefits a person receives from running, Stallings said, but he added nothing good can be gained from wearing the wrong shoe.
“You are just setting yourself up for injury,” he said.
Stallings and his staff take each customer out in front of their store and have them walk or run a few yards under their supervision. From there, they work on finding the right shoe for that person.
“If you have a flat foot, we have a shoe for that,” he said. “Some runners hit the pavement on the outside of the heel, some on the inside. Some people strike the pavement with the ball of their foot while others we fit in what we call neutral shoes. You need to be fitted properly before starting a running regimen.”