Destination Recreation: Proper Running Footwear - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Destination Recreation: Proper Running Footwear

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Runners know that shoe fit is important, even if some of us learn this the hard way.

"I actually had a lot of calf and hamstring problems because my foot wasn't moving in the right pattern in the shoe," says Rayne Herzog.

After this experience, Herzog decided to get properly fitted.

"Grabbing great shoes that don't support you right can do a lot a lot of damage," says Joel Bissonnette with Fleet Feet.

Bissonnette has been fitting athletic shoes at Fleet Feet in Essex Junction for almost seven years. He starts a fit session with some simple questions.

"What are you doing for your working out right now, your activity level?" he asks Herzog.

"Doing some running, I'm a triathlete," says Herzog.

The next step involves measurements.

"We are gonna see how much your feet collapse to determine your level of stability, so let's just relax your foot and we're gonna make a small mark here on your feet and determine where your foot is at rest," Bissonnette says.

Now it's time to stand up.

"We're seeing how much your foot collapses inside. This time we're seeing about a half of a size collapse," he says.

Measurements are taken on both feet. Bissonnette chooses shoes which will minimize that collapse. This results in more foot support.

"Let's have you stand up, check your toes, and let's see here...What we like to do is watch you run a bit," he says.

Once outside, Bissonnette observes Herzog making some strides. If his feet collapse too much, or pronate, bad things can happen.

"When you pronate it pulls the body out of alignment and by doing that is can cause extra strain on the body," he explains.

But there wasn't much of that when Herzog was running today.

"How does it feel?" Bissonnette asks.

"It feels comfortable, good stability, seems like the right fit," answers Herzog.

While finding the right shoe is a step in the right direction, socks often get overlooked.

"In the running industry you'll hear the term cotton is rotten," says Ben Hernandez with Balega International.

Hernandez works for a sock company. He tells us that cotton retains moisture. Instead, you're better off with socks made from synthetic fabrics or wool.

"A sock is going to be that barrier to manage moisture away from the skin, to keep the skin drier," he says.

Hernandez also recommends finding a sock that doesn't shift around your foot too much.

"Making sure there are things like this sock here that have a deep heel pocket for the heel to fit into," he says.

Efforts like these do take a little time. But people like Herzog say the results are worth it.

"I would totally recommend that you shop locally, get a good fit done, not just something you do online," says Herzog.

One of the most common mistakes that shoppers make is picking a shoe that they like based on fashion rather than function. Experts say to find the right fit first, then you pick out the colors that you like.

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