How to choose the best running shoes

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 27 Mar, 2017

Walk before you run

Running is an excellent workout for both the body and soul, helping to promote positivity, aid weight loss, strengthen your joints, keep your mind sharp and add years to your life.

However, before you start, you will  need to ensure you have the best running shoes for your feet.

It's not as simple as throwing on any old trainers, as you will need to ensure your feet are healthy, supported and protected as you enjoy your work out.

Take your Biomechanics into Account

If you visit a local running store, you will be able to gain valuable advice from trained staff regarding your foot type, biomechanics and needs.

These professionals will be able to recommend a range of shoes that will work the best for your feet. There are three main types of foot:  flat,  neutral or high arched.  All of these determine the runner's pronation level (the inward rolling of the foot) which is important to take into account whilst running.

Choose the Comfort Level that Suits You

When you are running, ask yourself whether you prefer to feel the responsiveness of the ground beneath you, or a more cushioned experience.  These are important factors when deciding which shoes you wish to purchase, as you will  need to ensure comfort to get the best out of your run.

Leave Space at the End of your Shoe

As a general rule, you should leave around a thumbnail's length between the end of your big toe and the end of the shoe. This may require you to go up half a size from your usual to allow for the extra space.

The space is necessary due to the tendency of the feet to swell during exercise or running. By sizing up, your feet will still be comfortable and able to breathe despite any swelling that occurs.

Run Around the Store

Don't worry about looking ridiculous -- they are used to seeing it!  The best way to 'try before you buy' is to take a little jog around the shop and see how the shoes feel.  If they don't feel right, try a few more pairs as different makes vary.  If they are comfortable and meet your needs, go right ahead and make the purchase!

Replace your Shoes every 300 - 500 Miles

Buying new shoes frequently may seem excessive, however it's necessary to protect your feet. Worn down running shoes are often a cause of running injuries due to the lack of stability, shock absorption and cushioning.

If you are starting to feel aches and pains after your run, it's probably time to invest in a new pair.

Remember, there is no universal 'best running shoe',  so it may take a little time to find your perfect match. Take this advice into account and head off to your local sports store to try on a variety of models.

Once equipped with your ideal shoe, you'll be ready to go!

By Judith Sullivan 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 

‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.




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