Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Putting Your Foot in It

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Putting Your Foot in It

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jane Picken

Whether you are running a marathon or walking up a mountain getting the right footwear is crucial. Health reporter Jane Picken finds out how to make sure your feet get the perfect fit.

Shin-splints, leg pains and aching knees are just some of the consequences of doing sports or exercise without the right footwear.

One of the reasons for this is many of us have different running styles - some may lean into the inside of the foot or come down on our heels rather the balls of our feet support from our trainers.

But, for the first time in the North East, outdoor wear and equipment specialists Snow and Rock have come up with an intriguing way to ensure runners, walkers and those exercising get the right footwear suited to the way they run or walk.

Called gait analysis, the fitting process involves computerised monitoring of how the feet work when running, including which parts of the foot are put under more strain.

"Here we can analyse anyone's running gait which can be crucial to getting the right type of shoe and avoiding injury," said store manager Mike Clark, who is himself a keen runner.

"We're focusing on the support and stability trainers give you which is really important, but we're going one step further by making sure people get the correct trainer for their particular running style.

"Using the wrong type of shoes can cause a multitude of problems, and that doesn't just apply to people who are die-hard runners - it's relevant to anyone."

Snow and Rock's gait analysis, at its only North East store in the MetroCentre's retail park, in Gateshead, has been up and running now for almost a year and has seen countless customers find the right pair of trainers.

From weekend walkers to regular runners all are eager to get the most out of their footwear.

According to Mike there are three main styles of running.

Neutral runners will keep their ankles straight and solid, perhaps coming down on the balls of their feet first.

But pronaters run with their ankles collapsing inwards as they hit the ground and then there are those who experience supination, where the feet do not roll in enough and the runner tends to lean on the outside of the feet. …

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