Keep Your Feet FIT - FIT Human Performance

Keep Your Feet FIT


September 4,2016 – 

Often the last thing people think about or take into consideration when they decide to begin exercising are their feet. Just yesterday while working with a client and talking about the strength training program for legs we discovered her big problem with balance was her shoes. After failing the balance test I sent out a few weeks ago we started breaking down the elements of balance; the core was strong, the joints moved well, the ankle did not have a deviation when moving, and the achilles heel was not too tight … huh. This left only one possibility, the shoe. I asked to see the bottom of the shoes, and yes indeed the inside/medial section of both shoes were not only bald but so worn down from dragging the feet they had the ankle leaning inward/medial deviation.

When she would stand up on one foot and attempt balancing she would invariably fall to the inside, on both feet. While walking or exercising your body will accommodate and even adapt to your shoes. My wife always tells me “a shoe is a soft cast and only in bare feet does your body know how to walk.” Smarty pants is correct, as your feet have two natural shock absorbers to help you move well and absorb force:

Longitudinal Arch – the arch along the long side of the foot, heel to toes.
Horizontal Arch – arch from the ball of the foot along the metatarsals/toes.

As we age these arches can lose their elasticity and the foot becomes more FLAT … less spring in your step per say. These two arches allow you to stand and balance without even moving your legs at all. When the bottom of shoes develop a very uneven platform to move from, then eventual dysfunction will occur; in the ankle, then knee, then hip, and eventually the spine. Injury can be easily and cost effectively  diverted … go buy some shoes!

A shoe FIT is a good idea. I think such a good idea, that I have paired with  local shoe stores who specialize in sport shoes, gait, landing patterns, ankle deviations, and heel drag. They have the right equipment and tools to watch you walk, suggest a shoe and offer a discount if you feel it is time to take your heath and exercise seriously from the ground up. Nothing ruins a body faster than bad or worn out shoes.

Feet and ShoesBefore buying a pair of new running sneaks (or stocking up on a few), you can learn a lot about the kind of runner you are and the needs of your feet by checking out the condition of your old sneakers. According to an article in Runner’s World, here are some things you should look for before sneaker shopping:

Heel alignment:

Place your sneaks side by side on a flat surface and look at the heels, checking to see if your sneakers lean to the right or to the left. If they lean inward, it’s a sign that you’re an overpronator. If they lean outward, then you’re an underpronator. Neither is a bad thing, but when looking for your next pair, you should find ones that support how you pronate.

Midsole wear:

Turn your sneaks over and look at the midsole. Look for creases, excessive wear on certain parts of the sole, or if one shoe has more wear than the other. It could give you clues that one of your legs is longer than the other, or tell you that you’re overtrading. An appointment with an orthopedist might be your best option before splurging on your next pair of kicks.

Upper stretching:

Now look at the tops of your sneaks. If the fabric is wrinkled and overstretched in certain areas, it’s a sign that the shoe isn’t giving you enough motion control. This means you may not be getting enough arch support or that the shoe is too wide in the front and your foot is shifting from side to side. You want a snug fit, so while shoe shopping, look for a pair that supports the shape of your foot best to ensure your feet are locked in place.

I suggest shopping for sneakers at a specialty running store and taking your old sneakers with you. Chances are someone there can read the sole of your shoe and suggest a style or brand to suit your foot.

Whether your working outside, exercising, training at F.I.T. or just want to place your feet into a shoe that fits perfectly, you only have 2 feet and they are your responsibility. Go ahead, love your feet and treat them well, perhaps you will move better and balance longer.

In good health,


Foot MapP.S. Mention this article at Luke’s Locker, 9595 Six Pines Dr., or at New Balance The Woodlands, 10868 Kuykendahl Dr., and receive a 10 % discount on a new pair of shoes. [Offer good through 9/30/2016]

They can even do a map of your feet to be sure you get shoes that give you the best fit and support for your body. (Check out my foot map!)

Go ahead stock up!!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” – Dr. Suess