Indianapolis podiatrists: Find the best running shoes

Indianapolis podiatrists: Find the best running shoes

Angie’s List employees love to run. Whether it’s a 5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon offered in the city of Indianapolis, you can probably find a few of our employees participating.

Running can be a great way to stay in shape and improve your cardiovascular capacity. Unfortunately, for some, running can cause major foot or ankle problems, and oftentimes podiatrists say your shoes are to blame. Finding the right running shoes is very important to your health.

Dr. Gad Flaumenhaft, a highly rated podiatrist in Noblesville, Ind., sees patients with a variety of injuries related to improper running shoes such as plantar fasciitis resulting from lack of proper shoe support and lack of stretching, stress fractures from inadequate shoe fit and overuse, and blackened toenails from shoes that are too small.

Flaumenhaft suggests performing a flex test with your shoe. “Before making your purchase, bend the shoe to see where it flexes,” he says. “The shoe should be flexible toward the ball of the foot and not the center of the shoe. Be sure there is adequate room in the toe box, check that the heel counter (the plastic insert used to reinforce the back of the shoe) is higher than the sole and that the shoe has proper arch support.” Flaumenhaft says not all brands are created the same, so the shoe that your running partner wears may not be the proper shoe for you.

Dr. Jeff Agricola of highly rated Prestige Podiatry, which has locations in Carmel, Ind., and Southport, Ind., agrees that to find the right running shoes you need to consult with a store that specializes in running shoes. He, too, has seen his share of running related injuries.

Common injuries from running shoes are from the positioning of the shoe, not from an immediate injury, Agricola says: “A shoe may be putting the foot in a position that strains one area of the foot over the other. The best way to avoid chronic strain and injuries like stress fractures and tendon damage is by putting your foot in a neutral position where your foot functions best.” To do that, he recommends talking to a podiatrist about prescription orthotics that help by diverting pressure.

Everyone has a gait specific to the way they move, Agricola says. “A prescription orthotic is very common in all of our athletes and runners and anyone on their feet for an extended period,” says Agricola, who notes that most of his patients’ insurances typically cover orthotics.

If you’ve suffered foot or ankle injuries in the past that may have resulted in tendon or ligament damage that didn’t heal properly or was not treated by a physician, you may be subjecting yourself to long-term damage. Enlisting the care of a highly rated podiatrist before you purchase a running shoe can be advantageous or be sure to consult them if you suffer from existing foot or ankle problems, which they can help you to resolve.

Kelsey Taylor is a certified personal trainer with the International Fitness Professionals Association, a sports nutritionist and a strength training instructor with more than 12 years of experience. She works at Angie’s List as the wellness director.

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