I never used to pay much attention Fungus Hack to my feet. I mean, they were just there. They did what feet were supposed to do - provide my body a base of support and mobility. I just assumed and took for granted that they would continue to do that with minimal attention from me. And they did! Sure I washed them when in the shower. Yes, I clipped toenails. I did purchase shoes that fit reasonably well, provided of course that they looked exceedingly cool. Beyond that though, I pretty much left them alone. That was when I was young, strong and (cough, cough) invincible!
As I now know however, I am neither invincible nor young (but still hold onto strong) and I do need to afford my feet the respect and care they rightly deserve for having carried me along for 53 years thus far and, more importantly, for carrying me through the many years to come. Think for a moment about the pounding that, as runners, our feet take over the course of a life of running. We pound our feet into the ground at anywhere from 160 to 180 steps per minute during our runs. Over the course of a 10k run at, say, at a 7:30 pace, that's nearly 8150 steps or 4075 steps per foot. That's just for a 45 minute run! Now say we're on a training program where we run 24 miles each week - not at all unreasonable. That's equates to 32,600 steps or 18,300 per foot. Just for running! Don't forget that you're still walking on them, standing on them in lines or at the water cooler at work, shoving things out of the way with them, etc. You get the idea! Our feet rarely get time off! So, with that said then here is what I personally resolve to do for my feet - now and well into the future.
I resolve that from this day forward I will make sure that all footwear I entrust my feet to (not just running shoes) will fit properly and will include enough room in the toe box for my toes to stretch and breath yet still maintain a snug fit so that they do not rub around inside the shoe possibly causing major blisters or calluses to develop. I will make sure that the shoes fit comfortably over my entire foot - not too tight where circulation is impeded, not too loose that my feet rub and develop blisters.
I will not run in worn out shoes any longer. Shoes that look as if the dog and all his buddies took a turn at them. (you know what I mean! Go look in your dog's bed!) Those shoes just will not work any longer - if they ever did! The structure of them has been worn down to a point where I do more damage wearing them than not. I will even go to a running shoe specialist if I have to in order to get properly fitted for the correct shoe for my running type.
I am a heavy runner who tends to under-pronate. By way of definition, pronation refers to the roll of your foot/ankle from foot strike to toe off. Normal pronation is slight inward roll, over-pronation is too much of an inward roll and under-pronation or supination is rolling outwards on your foot. I also have a normal arch. I look for a shoe that will help to bring my running gait to a more neutral pronation. It is widely stated that a running shoe's effective life span is anywhere between 200 to 500 miles, again depending on your foot type and the type of runner you are. There is then a direct impact on how many miles you will get out of a pair of running shoes. Knowing what foot type you have is a big step towards being able to make proper decisions in your running footwear!