Minimalist shoes for runners have been the rage for many years now. As a Seattle podiatrist I've advocated against them because they don't provide the solid support or the protection needed for runners.

Now there's even more evidence that wearing minimalist shoes can be problematic, particularly if you weigh over 187 pounds.

A new study out of University of South Australia showed that heavier runners who wore light weight shoes were three times more likely to get injured than those who wore regular running shoes.

Wearing shoes that are minimalist, bend in half at the midfoot, or be easily twisted can all lead to problems with foot and ankle injuries, back pain, and knee pain if worn when running or participating in other sports activities.

To prevent foot problems when running, follow these 7 tips when purchasing shoes.

1. Go to a reputable running store
Stores that specialize in running will know a lot more about fitting your feet properly than stores that do not.

2. Replace the insert that comes with your shoes
Even new running shoes don’t come with an insert that will totally support you. Replace it with an over-the-counter insert such as Superfeet or Powerstep. If you have orthotics, bring them with you to the store.

3. Go shopping later in the day
Feet are most likely to swell at the end of the day. Shop later in the day so you don’t buy shoes that are too small.

4. Get your feet measured
Get your feet measured to make sure your size hasn’t changed. When you try them there should be at least one thumb’s width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. If one foot is larger than the other, buy to fit the larger size.

5. Don't shop by price alone
Just because a running shoe is more expensive doesn't mean it's better. Finding the shoe that is right for you, your foot type, and how you run is most important.

6. Test your shoes for stability
As mentioned above, flexible shoes aren't going to give you the support you need when running. (Watch youtube video: How to Test Any Shoe For Stability)

7. Replace worn out shoes
Shoes should be replaced after every 400-500 miles. Most runners will need to replace their shoes every 6 months.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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