Feet. They’re not exactly my favorite body parts. But they’re there, and where would I be without them? Ugly – and sometimes smelly – as they may be, they carry me around all day long. And as if that’s not enough already, as soon as I come home I squeeze them into my running shoes and go for a 20k run about 3 times a week… I try to take care of them by buying decent running shoes. I think I haven’t bought a pair of under 100€ and I buy at least 2 pairs of running shoes a year, just to spoil them. Still, I’ve been suffering from blisters, black nails… and the lack thereof.
Out of ideas, I decided to look for help and ended up at the Runners Service Lab in Ghent, hoping they had an answer and maybe, while they were at it, could find a solution to my ever-lurking knee issues…
At the store, the pressure distribution and roll-of pattern of my feet was studied during a foot scan analysis, during which I had to run barefoot over a pressure plate. Given the aberration the foot scan showed, the store keeper brought me some shoes that would compensate for that aberration in order to get a nice, straight, roll-of. Turned out I needed a bit of extra support on the outside of my foot, which came to no surprise at all.
What did come as a surprise however, was my shoe-size. I’ve always thought I had about 11 and that running shoes had to be nice and tight around your feet so your feet can’t shift in your shoes (the main cause of blisters as far as I knew). Electronic measuring however said that I was more of a size 12.5, to which the storekeeper added another .5 because running shoes should be loose and leave about 1cm of space at your toes. Apparently, your shoes have to stay in place by strapping the laces properly, not by squeezing them so they can’t move to begin with.
With lessons learned and a pair of bigass shoes under my arm, I left the store. I tried out the shoes that very same day, and to my surprise, they stayed in place wonderfully and ran really comfortably. I’m pretty sure this will end a lot of foot-related issues. If it will mean the end of my worrying knees remains to be seen. But now already, I can only advise a visit to the guys at RSLab. Do yourself and your feet a favor. You don’t even have to buy something to get the analysis, and it’s completely free!
To sign of, a somewhat related video: