The impact of fashion has hit the world of women's running shoes over the last several years. However, you cannot choose your running shoes based on the latest fashion trend. If you’re a serious runner, you have to take proper care of your feet and this means having the proper running shoe. Without good running shoes, you could cause permanent and painful injuries to your feet and legs.
Lately it seems that everyone is jumping on the compression sock bandwagon. In the past, they have been used for medical reasons, including preventing deep vein thrombosis, also known as blood clots in the legs, as well as aiding in circulation for diabetics. However, in the last few years, they have become more popular among marathon runners and even casual runners.
Advocates of compression socks believe that they help their muscles to recover quicker and help to prevent shin splints, muscle damage and lactic acid buildup. Scientific research on the subject seems to be on the fence, however. Should you pay for a pair of tight-fitting knee socks to help you with your running, or are the claims presented bogus?
When you start running, you'll hear a lot of conflicting information about shoes. Some folks say that the more expensive they are, the better they'll be for your feet and legs when you run. However, when it comes down to it, price is less important than finding the right pair of shoes for you.
If you’re a long-distance runner, the quality of your footwear can have a long-term effect on your health. Every time your foot meets the ground, it sends a shockwave of force up through your feet, ankles, legs, hips and into your back. Consider the thousands of times your feet hit the pavement every time you train, and you can begin to see how it adds up.
Us runners have relationships with our running shoes. A runner may not remember what happened on last week’s episode of 30 Rock, but she could tell you what shoes she wore when she set her 10k PR. A runner could tell you the merits of last year’s version of shoe x versus the updated version of shoe x. I think I have more pictures of running shoes than of my sister on my iPhone. (Granted, she lives 600 miles away. I see my running shoes every day).
I have a hard time parting with my running shoes, and I know I’m not alone. The pile of shoes that build up in our closets and our car trunks represent sacrifices and silent victories. But at some point, when the piles get too high, too smelly, or become a sore spot between you and your spouse, something’s got to give.
So what can you do with your old shoes? Throwing them into the garbage seems wasteful. You probably know to donate them, but did you realize there are a lot more options out there than the local thrift store? Here are a few ideas...
Studies have shown that compression apparel (including socks, tights, and leg sleeves) help to both reduce fatigue and improve recovery. On an anecdotal level, I notice a huge difference in my recovery the next day when I wear compression socks, and almost all of my athletes use some form of compression technology after their hard workouts.
These products use graduated compression (tighter at the extremities, looser as you move up the leg) to improve blood flow -- specifically to improve the flow of blood returning to the heart from the veins. This allows blood to return to working muscles faster, delivering nutrients and oxygen, and clearing waste products....