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Get the most out of your running shoes by knowing how to select the best ones and the replacement timeline for them

When it comes to running, the shoe you choose will greatly impact your body and running technique. Learn what type of shoe will benefit you most in the long run by using this article for how to pick out your running shoes, what type best suits you, and when it’s time for a new pair!

written by Dr. Kimberly Davis, RunLab™

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED NEW SHOES?

Probably more often than you think.  Even if you have managed to achieve sound biomechanics (rare), are extremely lightweight, and a low mileage runner, it is still important to remember that your shoes have a shelf life. Those sweet (rad?) neon and splatter-paint Nike knock-offs you bought for $39.99 from TinyHandsTinyPrices.com may look really cool, but they probably aren’t doing you any favors from an injury prevention standpoint.  Most people wait until they start to notice nagging pains before they think to replace their shoes, instead of doing it before the issues pop up.

EVA foam begins to harden after 1-1.5 years, meaning that when you buy older model shoes on clearance or online it is possible for them to be “worn out” before you ever run in them. Click To Tweet

Most runners should replace their shoes every 300-500 miles depending on the weight of the runner and the efficiency of their mechanics. This means every 5-6 months for the average runner and every 2-3 months for the higher mileage runner. This is assuming you ONLY RUN in your running shoes, not wear them to work or to the gym. 

WHAT ABOUT ROTATING THROUGH SHOES?

I am a huge fan of this concept. Not only does it allow your shoes time between runs for the foam to “bounce back”, but different types of shoes give you different feedback from the ground, and in my opinion, this is always a good thing from a neuromuscular standpoint. Your body adapts very quickly to a learned stimulus. By giving it different signals, you are forcing it to constantly respond to outside stimuli instead of just “going through the motions” with learned patterns. I personally rotate through several shoes depending on the type of run and how fatigued my body is, and I find it works very well for keeping my body engaged with what is going on between my foot and the ground. If you would like some guidance stop by and chat. Everyone that works at RunLab™ is a dedicated runner and we love talking shop.

which running shoes are best for you?

HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHOE(S)?

If you answered: “Well obviously, I choose the shoes that will match my tutu for the Goofy Challenge”, then you, my friend, could probably get a job in a number of running retail stores…but I digress.

   Choosing the right shoe is much more complicated than most people think IF you have suboptimal structure, range-of-motion, and/or biomechanics, which most non-elite runners (and even many elite runners) are challenged with.  “How do I choose the right shoe” is the eternal question that every runner (and shoe company, and retail employee) wishes had an easy answer, but at the end of the day…it doesn’t. At RunLab™, we feel very strongly that it isn’t so much about the shoe as it is about the foot that inhabits the shoe (and the knee and the hip and the body that live above the foot and for some reason get left out of most types of “gait analysis” done in shoe stores).  Most elite runners with sound biomechanics can run in almost anything they want to run in within a certain range, typically avoiding extreme stability in most cases. They aren’t great runners BECAUSE of the shoe. They are great runners because of the work they have put in on the strength side, and often because of the genetic gift they have been given on the structural side. Back to the question. First and foremost, if a shoe doesn’t feel good in the store, it won’t feel any better when you run. 

STOP CHOOSING SHOES BASED ON COLOR!

Base your choice on what works with your structure, goals, foot shape, etc. If you fall outside the “norm” structurally, meaning you have bunions, very high or very flat arches, knock knees, are bowlegged, have retroverted or anteverted hips, super tight hamstrings or calves, etc., or if you have a history of injuries, or trouble finding shoes that work for you, get a movement analysis & gait evaluation. And I don’t mean the kind where somebody watches you run for 10 seconds down the street, looks at your foot/ankle, and then starts talking about how much or little you pronate or supinate.  That isn’t a gait evaluation folks! A good gait evaluation should look at your entire body from multiple angles, ideally, both in shoes and barefoot, and should factor in what is happening with your unique structure, range-of-motion, goals, strengths, and limiters. This is not something most people have expertise in doing well.

   Think of it in bike-fit terms, you can get your saddle height adjusted, OR you can go through a lengthy process that looks at all the necessary angles and takes your individual needs, foot position, femur length, tibia length, reach, etc. into account. Both of these things might be referred to as a “bike-fit” but one of them clearly takes your unique structural and functional makeup into account and requires expertise in biomechanics to really fit you properly.  Movement analysis and gait evaluation is the same way. Remember: understanding what could go wrong down the road through thoroughly understanding your mechanics is a heck of a lot cheaper than the rehab to fix the issue when you break. Just sayin’…

IN SUMMARY:

  • Replace your shoes early and often, more often the higher you go in mileage and before you start to notice pain.
  • Stop picking shoes based on color!  Seriously. Did I really need to say that?  Yes. Yes, I did. Stop doing it.
  • Choose your shoe stores wisely, we can guide you if you need help.
  • When someone calls you a “pronator” or a “supinator” and then attempts to “fix” the issue with a shoe, this person doesn’t under biomechanics.  Be wary.
  • A Movement Analysis and Gait Evaluation looks at the whole body and doesn’t just take 30 seconds.  If you have structural or injury issues, it’s worth getting it done by experts (I might know some people!)
  • The shoes don’t fit if your heels slide, or if your toes are pinched.
  • If part of your foot is hanging over the sole of the shoe, it doesn’t fit.
  • If you hate the color…it still might fit!  See how you tried to forget what we talked about already?!

ABOUT DR. DAVIS   

Dr. Kimberly Davis

Dr. Kimberly Davis is the Founder & CEO of RunLab™, a Movement Analysis and Gait Evaluation company headquartered in Austin, Texas that provides runners anywhere in the country access to comprehensive gait evaluation services through www.runlab.us.

   Recognizing a lack of consistency and quality in gait analysis across the country, Dr. Davis launches RunLab.us in 2018 as a means for runners to access her industry-leading gait team from anywhere in the United States.

For more information about the RunLab™ team, please visit WWW.RUNLABAUSTIN.COM

For gait evaluation services outside the Austin area, please visit WWW.RUNLAB.US

Participants crossed the Kerrville Triathlon Festival’s finish line, then celebrated at the finish line festival

More than 1000 participants flocked to Kerrville, Texas, to participate in the 8th Annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival. The most scenic triathlon in Texas featured two days of action, plus a two-day expo. Participants gave their all on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River. After their accomplishments, participants were treated to fajitas, cold beer, snacks, and an opportunity to recover in the refreshing waters of the Guadalupe River.

“I really enjoyed coming back to Kerrville for this race weekend,” said Tony Aventa, who completed the Debra Zapata Sprint on Saturday. “This year was particularly fun with the run through the park. Great job to High Five Events for coordinating such a smooth race!”

From spectating to the Kids Fun Run, Kerrville Tri is perfect for the whole family

The family-friendly Kerrville Triathlon Festival took place from Friday, September 28, to Sunday, September 30. It featured eight different events, including sprint, quarter, half, aquabike, relays, and a kids fun run. The Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint relay, and kids fun run took place on Saturday. All other events, including the quarter and the half, took place on Sunday. Before the action began, participants, volunteers, and friends and family went to the ROKA Happy Hour. The happy hour and the expo and packet pick up were held at Inn of the Hills, the host hotel.

“Kerrville Triathlon Festival is one of my favorite races of the season,” said Karen Moser, who completed the Debra Zapata Sprint on Saturday. “The courses are amazing, the support is top-notch, and I love the family atmosphere, especially when my daughters cross the finish line with me!”

Peter Murray (1:03:16), of McGregor, Texas, won Saturday’s sprint event. Andrea Fisher (1:10:14), of Austin, Texas, won the female division. Sunday’s winners and their times follow: quarter – female winner, Haley Koop (2:23:17), male winner, Mark Saroni (2:02:52); half – female winner, Rebecca Marrou (4:54:31), male winner, Todd Gerlach (4:45:09). Results for Saturday and Sunday are available.

Kerrville Tri – the most scenic triathlon in Texas

“The Kerrville Triathlon was such a great and memorable experience for my first successful 70.3,” said Ron Ledesma. “The High Five Events’ staff and volunteers were a huge part of making it so memorable for both triathletes and spectators. The race was very well organized from the expo to the festival area, including availability of support, aid, and facilities.’

Athletes received custom-designed shirts and water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, belt buckle finisher’s medal, a post-race meal including fajitas tacos from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, and an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Professional timing and photography, a great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival demonstrated why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas. Photos can be found on the Kerrville Triathlon Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds in addition to the website.

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank sponsors H-E-B, ROKA, Clif Bar, City Limit Cycles, the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Fire Department, Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Department, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin, SPIbelt, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Grape Juice, RunLab Austin, and Gatorade.

Triathletes from 15 different states prepare for Kerrville Triathlon, the most scenic triathlon in Texas

High Five Events concludes their 2018 triathlon season with the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30, in Kerrville, Texas. More than 1300 athletes will participate in this beloved Hill Country event. Entering its eighth year, Kerrville Tri is rapidly becoming known for featuring the most scenic triathlon course in Texas.

Triathletes will participate on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River. After crossing the finish line, participants can grab an inner tube provided by the event and float in the cool waters of the Guadalupe River. Before the action begins, participants and their friends and family are invited to the ROKA Happy Hour. This gathering will take place on Friday, Sept. 28th, from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 at the Inn of the Hills bar.

“People are buzzing about the 8th Annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival because it combines triathlon distances for everyone, the City of Kerrville’s hospitality, and the beauty of the Texas Hill Country,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’re just as excited as the City of Kerrville to host triathletes from 15 different states and see the continued growth of this event.”

Swim, bike, run in the Texas Hill Country

The Kerrville Triathlon Festival will feature the Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint relay, and free Kids Fun Run on Saturday. Quarter distance, quarter aquabike, half distance, half aquabike, and half relay will all take place on Sunday. The sprint will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. The half will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Triathletes who would like to participate but are unable to travel to Kerrville can register for the virtual Kerrville Triathlon.

Participants can pick up their packet at the Kerrville Triathlon Expo and Packet Pickup. That will take place at the host hotel, Inn of the Hills. The expo and packet pickup, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Friday, Sept. 28th, and Saturday, Sept. 29th. Registration for all distances is still open for the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. Volunteer positions are available as well.

Athletes will receive custom-designed shirts and trucker hats, water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, belt buckle finisher’s medal, a post-race meal including fajitas and tacos from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, and an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Professional timing and photography, a great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will showcase why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas.

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank sponsors H-E-B, ROKA, Clif Bar, City Limit Cycles, the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin, SPIbelt, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Grape Juice, RunLab Austin, and Gatorade.