Geared to run

The AJC Peachtree Road Race is less than 10 weeks away and the excitement is already building. The weather is getting warmer and the roads are getting more crowded with runners preparing for their July 4th run down Peachtree Street.

doctor-joe-bigOne of the many great things about the sport of running is that it is not “gear intensive.” All one need to enjoy a run are a pair of running shoes, some running clothes and a surface to run on. That being said, the proper selection of this gear can make a huge difference in making running more enjoyable and in minimizing the chance of injury.

As many as 20 percent of runners who develop leg and foot pain can attribute the cause to worn-out running shoes, improperly fit shoes and incorrect shoes for their foot type and running style.

When selecting shoes for running or walking, one should first select a running specific shoe. Utilize the expertise of an experienced shoe consultant at one of the many specialty running shoe stores in Atlanta. They can help determine the proper model for your foot type and running biomechanics.

When going to try on shoes, make sure you wear a sock of the same thickness you normally run in. The thickness of the sock can affect the fit of the shoe by up to a half a size.

You should also allow at least one-quarter inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This will help prevent blisters and bruised toes and toenails. Your running shoe size may be one-half to one-and-a-half sizes larger than your everyday shoes.

The shoes should also be comfortable when you try them on. Although some “breaking-in” does occur, if the shoes are not comfortable in the store, they will probably cause you some grief as you make your way down Peachtree Street.

Finally our favorite running shoes do not last forever; be prepared to replace them every 250 to 500 miles to insure they maintain their optimum cushion and stability.

Even though runners do not need a lot of gear, the proper selection of this gear will go a long way to keeping you injury free while you train for the coveted AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt

Perry Julien, D.P.M.
Assistant Medical Director, AJC Peachtree Road Race

7 comments Add your comment


May 2nd, 2010
8:41 am

I recommend not wearing cotton socks. They’re too rough and give me a blister. This is especially bad during the Peachtree where you’re likely to get your shoes wet. The Road Runner Sports website has a really good shoe size chart. Even if plan to buy your shoes at a retail store it’s nice to know before hand that you’ll need a certain width, size, and type of shoe. Get your bare foot wet and step on a dry piece of paper to check your arch.


May 14th, 2010
8:53 pm

I was running in trail-running shoes and had some knee pain from a previous cycling injury. My doctor said that I would only be able to run on flat surfaces, and then only for short distances. I bought a pair of professionally-fitted $100 running shoes with strong support for my pronation. I took them home and ran up a hill, and made it about 200 feet before the pain was unbearable. I stumbled upon a website about barefoot running, and gave it a try (not barefoot at first, but with shoes with absolutely no support). After learning how to run barefoot (land on the ball, not the heel) and going through some growing pains as my calves and arches and ankles got stronger, I can run every day now, up and down any hill. I feel stronger, lighter, and more connected with the ground. My feet love being free and allowed to do what they were made to do: provide sensory data, strength, and stability. And now I don’t “jog” down the street, thumping on my heels; I glide along the pavement, caressing the earth on nature’s running shoes. You never have to replace them, and they only get stronger with age. It may not be for everyone, but I recommend looking into it, whether you are suffering from a running injury or simply want stronger, more natural feet, ankles, and legs. Running should be a smooth and delicate exercise. But either way, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself; see you on Peachtree!

Joe Dunn

May 15th, 2010
12:50 pm

Can anyone recommend a store to shop for running shoes as I’m a novice to running? I do a ton of walking and cycling but, I’ve not run in years…


May 17th, 2010
5:05 pm

Feet Fleet does an excellent job at fitting you into the right shoe. Google them for a location near you.


May 18th, 2010
8:48 am

Humans weren’t built to have big, soft “cushiony” shoes. Most of the running injuries are directly related to the plush shoes runners wear.

Man evolved to run barefoot (and not on pavement). If you want to protect your feet from sharp objects, get some Vibram Five Fingers.


May 18th, 2010
9:36 am

Phidippides is a great store too. All the folks who work there are also athletes (mostly runners) and can help you find a great pair of shoes. The best part about going to an actual running shoe store is that you can try on shoe after shoe and really begin to feel the difference.

That being said (@Jesse), I recently bought a pair of Virbram Five Fingers. I am fairly young and in pretty good shape so I couldn’t figure out why I was having so much hip pain when running other than the fact that it’s not my favorite cardio activity. I started reading about the benefits of barefoot running but I’m not quite ready to take the leap to actually being barefoot. I’m now up to running about 2 1/2 miles in them though I have found that I still prefer to run on the grass/ trail rather than concrete. I plan on trying them out in 5k next weekend. The funny thing is I ran in my regular running shoes last week because I was trying to get in a little further distance and as soon as I started running, I felt like my feet were bricks!


May 18th, 2010
10:05 am

Joe, I’d recommend going to Phidippides or Big Peach Running Co. I’ve been to both. They do the same thing in terms of checking out your running style and letting you try on tons of shoes in order to determine the best fit. Big Peach does that more of the high tech way with cameras, treadmills, and computers, where Phidippides just watches you run. I bought a pair of shoes at Phidippides about a year ago and love them. I ran my first 5K last August and I’ll be running my first Peachtree this year. Welcome to the running world.