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Don’t risk injury with ill-fitting or worn out shoes

By Matthew Hicks from NAB RunWest partner physiotherapists and injury management specialists, Sydney West Sports Medicine:

The shoes you run in play a key role in your comfort, performance and preventing injuries. Inappropriate, ill fitting or worn out running shoes could increase your risk of injury to the lower body.

Footwear Fundamentals:

The key features to look for in a running shoe are:

Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause blistering or increase the risk of foot injury.  Getting the right heel pitch is also important.  Heel pitch is the elevation of the heel within the shoe and ranges from 0mm to 12mm in most athletic shoes.  The best pitch will depend on your running technique, experience and injury status. A higher heel pitch may be more beneficial if you are new to running or run with a heel strike technique.  A lower heel strike may be better suited to a forefoot striker.  The key is the get the right advice.  A specialist running shoe store can assist you with all of the above.

Getting the Right Support

Most reputable shoe brands offer a range of supportive running shoes.

‘Stability’ shoes are designed for those with a flat foot type whereas ‘Neutral’ shoes are designed for those with a neutral or high arched foot type. If you are unsure which support is most appropriate for your feet, visit a specialist running shoe store. If you are concerned your feet are rolling in or out too much, have had injuries in the past, or are experiencing pain when you are running, consult with a Podiatrist before purchasing new shoes.

How Long Does a Pair of Running Shoes Last?

Most running shoes will last between 800-1200kms. A light-weight or minimalist running shoe will wear quicker than a more supportive shoe with a thicker sole. Be sure to check the outersole for wearing through the rubber and the midsole for compression lines or wrinkles. These are signs that your shoes may need replacing. If you are running or training multiple times a day you may want to rotate your shoes to extend their life.

Finally, if you are thinking of purchasing a new pair of shoes, be sure to allow enough time to train in them first, you don’t want to be breaking your shoes in on race day.

For professional advice regarding footwear, running technique, or foot pain, it is best to consult with a Sports Podiatrist who will be able to tailor your treatment to your needs.

Contact Sydney West Sports Medicine on 9851 5959 or at

For more information contact Sydney West Sports Medicine on 02 98515959 or at