Wednesday, October 11, 2006

85% of us are wearing the wrong shoe size.

Startling statistic isn’t it?

To support the neophytes of endurance sports training (like me), our TNT coaches and team captains organize various clinics. The first of this training season was a “shoe clinic.”

Now, I’m thinking going into this, "sure, I’ll learn about running shoes." Which I did. I did not expect my world to be turn upside down. I found out that I’ve been living in complete ignorance about foot health, and operating in complete darkness when it comes to buying the right shoes for my feet. So you know, I’ve been wearing a size 11 shoe, without fail, since high-school.

The clinic was held a the Big Feet Store in Fort Worth. This is no ordinary shoe store, the specialize guessed it, plus size shoes, and the proprietors gave us a very good educational session. Among the tips they shared:

  1. Medical statistics show that 85% of America is wearing the WRONG SIZE!
  2. Most people’s feet, left to right, are different sizes (pretty freaky)
  3. You want to be sure the widest part of the foot is in the widest part of the shoe; that little “press the thumb” trick to figure out were your big toe sits in relation to the end of the shoe is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Other key points were:
  • You should have your feet properly measured and assessed every time you purchase a shoe
  • Each different vendor (i.e. Rockport, Bally, New Balance, etc.) designs their lasts to meet a certain shape of foot.
The good people of the Big Feet Store gave me proper foot analysis with the old-fashioned measurement tools as well as a computerized analysis based on standing on a pressure pad; that told me I’m prone to plantar faciitis. This is the condition which slowed my favorite basketball player, Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, during the 2005/06 season. Pretty cool.

So what’s my shoe size?


A full size bigger than what I’ve been wearing (and occasionally running in) for years.


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