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Footwear mini-series: Volume 2: Runner vs Cross trainer? Which one?

Runner vs. Cross trainer

One common issue I come across in our clinic is the confusion between whether someone should be wearing a runner or a cross trainer.  So let’s first look at the design of a runner and the design of a cross trainer.

Design of a runner

A runner is designed to do the following:

  • Protect the foot
  • Provide cushioning
  • Provide support
  • Provide structure

Runners are designed to provide all the above when the individual is moving in a straight line, such as walking, running or jogging.

Design of a cross trainer

A cross trainer does all the things a runner does but the difference is that cross trainers are best for activities where side to side movement is involved, for example in netball, basketball, tennis and gym classes etc.

The structure of a cross trainer is different to a runner:

  • The midsole is denser than a runner and decreases torsion in the midfoot.
  • Heel height is often less, therefore a cross trainer will allow you to ‘feel the ground’ and decrease your risk of ankle sprains.
  • The upper is usually made from a mixture of mesh and leather which further provides support for side to side movement.
  • The outsole offers great traction and protection against excessive wear.

In short, the cross trainer is an all-rounder.  However you wouldn’t wear a cross trainer if you were playing a game of soccer.

So does that mean I need a different pair of shoes for every sport?

When it comes to sports such as tennis, soccer, football, hockey and golf YES, it is best to use the shoe designed specifically for that sport.  Football/soccer/hockey and golf shoes all have cleats which make your performance a lot better and also reduce your risk of injury on those surfaces.  But if you play netball, basketball and indoor soccer, runner, the cross trainer is the right shoe for you.

Need more advice on which shoes will give you the support you need?  Call us today on (03) 9457 2336

Welcome to our 1st blog series: Footwear!

Welcome to our 1st blog series:  Footwear!

We are really excited to have just launched our new website at the end of April, with more information about common foot problems, of course our new blog, products that we sell in the clinic and more information about our footwear range. We will be updating our information on a monthly basis and also keeping our blog up to date on a weekly basis, so make sure you check back regularly or follow us on our Facebook page to be updated about any new blogs.

Our first 8 blogs will be all about footwear.  Each week in May & June we will be talking about a different footwear topics.  So to kick it off, let’s talk footy boots!

Kicking off our 1st blog: Football boots

I thought I’d kick off are first post by talking about football boots!  We see a lot of foot problems in both soccer and Aussie rules football players.  There are many reasons why these particular sports are so prone to foot problems, firstly because of the nature of the sport.  They are high impact, high intensity sports and a lot of running is involved.

Secondly, the choice of football boot greatly will affect how much support your foot is getting during a match.

Thirdly, the playing surface.  Particularly in the ground is hard or water logged, this can lead to injury.

In this post we will focus mainly on the choice of football shoe, given you can’t really do too much to improve the grounds or conditions of the sport!

Picking the right shoe for your position

  • Forwards: Consider a boot that has minimal weight for rapid movement and no laces or seems in your strike zone, preferably a grippy material.
  • Defence: You may need more protection over your foot to avoid being hurt. Rounded studs might be best.
  • Midfield: Light weight for endurance.
  • Goalkeepers: Quick footwork is key so a light weight boot is best!

Features to look out for in a good soccer/football shoe

  • Upper: Boots are usually made from either a synthetic material or from leather.  Synthetic materials tend to be a bit lighter than your leather shoe, but leather tends to be a bit more comfortable as it conforms to the foot better.
  • Studs: The type of stud will depends on how well your shoe will grip on to the ground:
    • Blade studs:  Grip better and promote speed. Great for increased traction.
    • Round studs:  Release a lot faster from the ground. Ideal for wet conditions.
    • Moulds:  Suited for natural or synthetic grass, but for drier conditions.
  • Midsole:  Some boots will not have a midsole which is a material that is placed between the outsole and the upper of the boot, providing extra cushioning. Unfortunately this can make a boot heavier as there is more material in the boot. This part of the shoe is preferable as it provides further support and usually is required to build the heel height.
  • Innersole:  This will provide some cushioning and preferably should be removable, particularly if you require orthotics down the track.
  • Heel counter/height:  The heel counter of a shoe should be stiff to stop your heel from moving around.  Your heel should be higher than the front of your foot, particularly if you suffer from Achilles issues or in children, severs.  It could also predispose you to lower limb injury.

Need more advice on which boots to buy?  Pain after or during soccer or football?  Call us today on (03) 9457 2336