Thursday, September 8, 2011

I’m a Supinator, What Are You?—Selecting the Walking Shoe


Feature Entry: I’m a Supinator, What Are You?—Selecting the Walking Shoe

The MoneyWalker logs about 25 miles a week which equates to 1300 miles a year. Even the best walking shoes need to be replaced ever 350 to 500 miles which means I change shoes after 4 months. Taking the shoes longer means that I am walking with “stretched” shoes that have lost their support and cushioning. I spend $100 for a jogging shoe, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS. These are top of the line and well worth the $300 a year expenditure. I tried less expensive models and experienced joint discomfort, ankle turns, poor balance, and occasional falls. When moving to my top line shoes, most of the problems disappeared and walking became more enjoyable.

Selecting the right shoes is an important consideration for the serious walker. Most experts on fitness and walking recommend shopping at specialty stores that cater to joggers and runners. The best running shoe is usually the best walking shoe. The specialty stores have experts that can help you determine the best shoe for your individual walking pattern.

When visiting the store, take a pair of your current walking shoes. More than price and comfort, selection decisions should be based on your walking pattern. Walkers will have one of three patterns—supination, pronation, or neutral. To determine my pattern, I examined the soles of my existing walking shoes. I noticed that the outside edge from heel to toe had excessive wear. Thus, I am a supinator which means that I underpronate and that I should buy “neutral” shoes with “curved lasts.” The shoe’s “last” refers to the form on which a shoe is constructed - resulting in the inside shape of the shoe. Lasts may be straight, curved or semi-curved.

If my shoe wear pattern had shown excessive wear on the inner side of the walking shoes, I would be considered an overpronator, or more simply a pronator. My shoes would tilt inward if I placed them on a flat surface. Pronators will require orthotic inserts or specially designed “motion control” shoes. The shoe last should be straight.

Finally, if my shoe soles revealed balanced wear, my gait category would have been considered neutral. To learn more about selecting the best fitting walking shoe for your gait category Google Wendy Bumgardner’s walking blog entitled “Walking Shoe Wear Patterns.


Found Money Update since last post = $8.50 over four walks for $2.13 average per walk

Weight Gain/loss since last post = 175.2 lbs, up from last post.

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