Running shoes crucial for athletes

By Josh Carney
Published: April 2011
An Olympic runner fitting running shoes sounds unrealistic. Yet Mike Roche is the owner of Boston Running Company in Newton Centre, and has been designing shoes for 25 years. He is a former Olympic runner as well.
Running is a crucial aspect of many sports, so a running shoe is the basis of performance when it comes to training. Shoes are crucial for student-athletes, it matters to invest in a durable pair of running shoes.
This fairly new local business is the “only store in the Boston area that does a video gate analysis” according to Roche.
This procedure is when a video camera captures the motion in which your feet travel, and when talking to a professional they are able to identify the weaknesses in your feet.
The runner is then able to get a feel as to the shoe that should be selecting according to one’s arch and other aspects of their foot mechanics.
Through this relatively simple procedure the employees at Boston Running Company are able to explain and then provide any customer with a comfortable shoe that fits his or her foot’s specific needs.
When selecting a running shoe it is critical to identify aspects of a runner’s mechanics that must be tended to.
“Some people don’t understand that most of the running company’s make a spectrum of shoes. They make shoes for people with high arches to people with flat feet. If they randomly select a shoe they have less than about a 20 percent chance of that shoe working for them,” Roche said.
It is important to buy a running shoe that works for you since there are many consequences to having poor running shoes.
For example, shin splints, knee pain, and other running related injuries. A personalized foot analysis is necessary in order to become less injury prone.
Some people may believe that he or she wears an everyday shoe that is no different from a shoe built specifically for running.
This belief is untrue do to the complexity of this specific category of shoes.
“The running shoe category is the only shoe category that provides very specific structure below the foot that helps either guide the foot more truly or to provide a lot of support.
“Running shoes are probably three times the complexity of the next category of shoes; what I mean by that is that they have a lot of components. It’s a very dynamic category,” Roche said.
When comparing shoe categories, there are many different aspects to consider in order to determine the complexity, for example, of just how many components are in the shoe.
“If you took apart a basketball or a tennis shoe there are literally three materials that make up the shoe. In some of the more complex running shoes there are at least ten or twelve molded pieces that all come together to form the shoe,” Roche said.
One might wonder; what does the durability of these complex running shoes do for the customer?
“If you’re fitted properly, you are getting a shoe that fits with your mechanics. Then another thing that the shoes give you is durability, the shoe is going to last longer than a $40 running shoe.
“Those shoes compress very quickly which means that you are not absorbing shock as quickly,” Roche said.
When determining which shoe to select in our current athletic environment everyone must take into account the different aspects of his or her feet’s mechanics in order to make the best choice.
The Boston Running Company in Newton Centre is there to help runners find the right choice for their feet by analyzing one’s specific running mechanics.

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