What do you look for when buying a new pair of trainers? The biggest brands? The newest releases? Your favourite colour? Choosing the right shoes can actually play a critical role in injury prevention and overall performance.
At Fitness First, we understand the importance of picking the perfect pair of shoes, which is why we’ve introduced Safesize - our new way of recommending the right shoes for you by performing static and dynamic foot analysis.
Think of Safesize as your own personal podiatrist. With it, we can test your joints and gait patterns which gives us an in-depth analysis of any potential issues or leg length discrepancies. With the diagnosis, we can suggest the right shoes for you to prevent any hip, spine and lower back injuries that would be caused by wearing the wrong trainers.
Our current stores with Safesize installed are:
- Merthyr Tydfil
- Bangor (North Wales)
Treat your feet
- You need to think about where you run when choosing your shoes. Whether you prefer running on tracks or trails, the type of footwear your wearing needs to be fit for purpose.
- Introduce a foot exercise routine before you go to bed. Gentle circular movements are all it takes to loosen up your feet. Another great exercise is to roll a tennis ball under the arch of the foot slowly, helping to increase the strength of the muscles and ligaments around the midfoot.
- After a run, rest from all activity and soak your feet in an Epsom salt foot bath. Epsom salts have great anti-inflammatory properties and can help with muscle tension. It’s also a brilliant way to relax after a tough run.
- Clean your running shoes regularly, especially if you have run a particularly wet or muddy trail. This will give your shoes a longer life span as well as reducing the risk of smelly shoes!
Exercises to strengthen your feet
- Stand on a step with the balls of your feet and an extra half an inch of your foot hanging off the edge
- Allow your heels to drop below as far as you feel comfortable
- Now lift yourself onto your toes, being careful not to allow your ankles and knees to roll in while keeping a straight line through your legs
- Start off with 10 repetitions and work your way up by 5 each day.
- Bring yourself up onto your toes, again being careful to keep a straight line through your ankles.
- Start with 10 steps on each foot then increase by 5 on each foot as you progress day by day.
- Same as above, but this time reach your toes up towards your shins as far as you can and begin to walk.
- You will feel the burn in the muscles surrounding the front of your legs.
- Find an elastic band and place this around your toes about halfway up
- Now try and spread your toes as far apart as possible and hold in this position for 5-10 seconds
- Repeat 3 times and gradually build up the time you hold by approximately 3 seconds each day
- This exercise increases balance in landing from running and walking, both majorly important for your kinetic chain
Single leg hops
- Bring your left knee up and keep your foot held up next to your right knee
- Using your arms to help pump yourself up, perform a small hop on your right leg
- Give yourself time to regain your balance when you land and hold
- Repeat 10 times then switch sides.
For more helpful hints and tips on fitness and nutrition, head over to Inside Track to learn more.