Foot Pain Sucks.
Over the past five years I’ve spent upwards of $3K on podiatrists (3 of them) trying to solve my foot pain when the problems became severe with structured training. Turns out a considerable amount of my foot pain and foot injuries have been caused by improper shoe sizing in my cycling, running, and every day wearables. Some of these injuries are permanent (neuromas) now and require extra attention. -That may answer your question of why I am such an Altra Running running shoe fan.-
Interestingly, none of the podiatrists, in that span of time bothered to size my foot on a brannock device and compare to my shoe length. Instead, costly visits, x-rays, custom inserts, and injections were supposedly the answer.
In the end, none of it worked. In pain daily, ask my wife about the first few years of triathlon when I didn’t walk without pain, how I managed to run and compete for those years baffles me. Frustrated, I did what we all do and started researching solutions on my own. Turns out that all my shoes were 1-2 sizes too small. I’d been using the brannock sizing device wrong for 30+ years and so was everyone sizing me!
Watch the video. It’s less than five minutes. I was thrilled to find it because it perfectly sums up what I think you should know.
With running shoes there are some additional concerns:
– additional space at the end of the shoe for running downhill to accommodate the foot sliding forward
– or pronation that lengthens the big toe on impact
– heel cup depth and padding is important
– eyelets for alternate lacing styles if you have a high volume foot
This is where a knowledgeable running shoe store is key Look for stores with employees who either own the place or you’ve seen them for years. For them it’s not an hourly job and you’re likely to find experienced, knowledgeable help. Locally, we have RNK Running & Walking here in Parker, CO.
Cycling shoes are different than running shoes when looking for fit. Due to cleat placement and the amount of force transferred to the ball of the foot the of a cycling shoe is critical for both foot health and watts.
I prefer custom molded inserts in my cycling shoe to improve support and power transfer. Using inserts requires some sizing adjustments depending on the volume the insert takes up inside the shoe.
There are some nuances here and I don’t profess to be a bike fit or running shoe expert so seeking out good advice is my recommendation. That said, it all starts with properly sized foot wear!