One never knows how important a proper running and training shoe can be, until purchasing the wrong one. Until last week, I never knew there was such a thing as the wrong training shoe. In fact, I was under the impression that if it looked good and felt good, then it must be the perfect shoe. Needless to say, I was proven wrong in more ways than one.

I purchased running shoes thinking they would be great for me, and it turned out to be a disaster. I hurt my Achilles heel. The crazy thing is, when my trainer Renee Byrd saw me wearing the shoes, she knew they weren’t going to get the job done. But she allowed me to learn the lesson the hard way. Some times the best lessons learned are those learned the hard way, but we won’t go into that.

There is so much more involved in training and working out than just showing up. You must take everything into account, including the shoes you wear. And after my injury, Byrd and I had a long chat about the importance of proper training footwear. I learned so much, that we thought it would be a great idea to inform you in this week’s column.

Byrd said proper footwear is important because it plays a key role in preventing future injuries, joint pain and even back pain. She said people need to realize that we all have different foot types, and the right shoe can make a world of difference.

“Some of us have perfect feet or what we call neutral feet,” Byrd said. “Others have severe pronation, mild pronation and a lot of us have supination.”

She continued by saying that over pronating is caused by the inward role of your foot as your foot leaves and strikes the ground. She said supination is the outward role of the foot during your normal range of motion.

“Either excessive pronation or excessive supination can cause a number of ailments that are related to your feet, ankles, hips, knees and even your back,” she said.  A lot of people back out of working out when they experience pain because they don’t realize it may involve wearing improper shoes.

“I have seen many people want to back out of the work because they have pain in the knee or back area,” Byrd said. “Often times they don’t realize it’s related to the footwear they’re wearing when they’re involved in activities.”

To help further prove the point, Byrd and I consulted Jason Lock the store manager for Hibbett Sports of Waxahachie. He was able to guide us in the purchase of the right shoe for a particular foot type.

“For those who have a problem with over pronation, I would suggest the Asics 2160 or the Brooks Glycerin,” Lock said. “However, for someone with a neutral foot type, the Asics Nimbus, Mizuno Wave Creation or the Mizuno Wave Rider would be the best shoe.”

Byrd also added that people need to know their shoes for working out need to be a half size bigger than normal, and they need to shoe shop in the late afternoon/early evening when their feet are swollen from being on them all day. That will ensure they purchase shoes that are comfortable throughout the day.

Byrd inserted that the best way to avoid injury when it comes to purchasing the proper footwear is to consult your personal trainer first. They will perform a gait analysis that will guide you on what foot type you are. If you don’t have a personal trainer, consult a fitness shoe professional that can provide you with a gait analysis. If you can’t find one, the next best thing would be to turn your shoe over and look at the sole. If it is worn down on the inside, then you are pronating. If it’s worn down on the outside then you’re supinating. The main thing is to make the right choice because you don’t want to purchase a pair of shoes that will cause injury. A lesson I learned all too well. And I will never purchase another pair of shoes for training without Byrd’s input again.

To reach Renee Byrd or if you have fitness questions, contact her at 972-741-1271 or renee@campgladiator.com. Her responses will be posted in next week’s Fit for Thought column, which appears in the Wednesday edition of the Daily Light.

Melissa Cade is a journalist for Waxahachie Newspapers Inc. Follow her on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@wninews.com.