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Picking the Proper Running Shoe

Dr. Ronnie Pollard competing in a 22k trail (Devil on the Divide) run.

Picking the Proper Running Shoe

Whether you are a seasoned runner or just starting out, proper footwear is essential to your running success.  Walking into any running store can be daunting with a wall full of dozens of shoes.  Finding the best fitting shoe isn’t easy, especially when aiming for a pair that fits properly from heel to toe while feeling comfortable. 

Everybody’s foot structure is different and you need to find the proper shoe to support your foot type in order to prevent injuries.  Every shoe part has a specific purpose to fit your foot in a certain way to make your running experience the best.   

The upper portion of the shoes should lay smooth and not bunch, bind, or cause pressure points on any area of your foot. 

The ankle collar holds and cradles the heel in place.  One needs to make sure the heel is not slipping or irritating the ankle bones or Achilles tendon. 

The heel counter supports the heel and allows for support when landing and comfortable ankle range of motion. 

The saddle in the area around the instep and allows the laces to securely hold the foot.  Making sure there is no excess pressure on the top of the arch is essential to prevent injury. 

When looking for a properly fitting toe box you should be able to wiggle each toe comfortably and allow your forefoot to flex.  

The outsole provides traction and durability.  They can increase wear life or enhance bounce and flexibility.  

The midsole is what allows the shoe to bend like your foot bands.  This can be a rocker bottom or a toe curl up, which alters the mechanics and feel.  The degree of flex may change your stride and pace. 

Heel and forefoot cushioning help to absorb shock.  However, you need a balance between cushioning and stability for a proper run.  

The heel-toe drop can change the forces of your foot and leg and alter your stride.

While the anatomy of a shoe is daunting, finding the footwear that supports you specifically is crucial.  We at Castle Rock Foot & Ankle Care can analyze your specific foot type and give shoe recommendations that will allow you to run to your fullest.  Also, remember running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles or if they are causing any pain!


Dr. Ronnie Pollard In her professional life, Dr. Pollard is a Board Certified podiatric physician specializing in lower extremity diagnoses, treatment, and after care. Dr. Pollard completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Denver before attending Midwestern University where she graduated as a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. After Midwestern, Dr. Pollard completed Denver's rigorous 3-year Highlands Podiatric Residency Program and has amassed thousands of hours of surgical and clinical treatment experience. Dr. Pollard takes a family focused approach to her practice making sure that her patients are comfortable, confident, and prepared for the treatment plan that she recommends and is sure to adjust strategies based on patient feedback as they heal.

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