What running shoes do I buy my child for track and field?

By: Tom Lemke - Cped MC, Cped C, Aug 01, 2017
  Article
Runners for Track and field, The Foot Lab

My daughter is just getting into track and field at school, how do I know what runners to buy her?

Below is the question asked....

My daughter is just getting into track and field at school, I do not know what running shoes to buy her, there are so many out there. Can a Pedorthic Master help get her a good foundation to start this journey of running in the proper way?

Tom Lemke - Cped MC, Cped C from "The Foot Lab" Weighs in on the topic.....

One of my favorite subjects! Let me start with saying I took up running 3 years ago, lost a lot of weight and got up to 8 kilometers and then got an injury in my Right ankle and I haven't been able to run comfortably since.

The single reason this happened is because I did too much too fast. I was running every day and running longer distances every time I went out.

The human body is designed to run and it is like no other exercise but going too fast WILL cause problems - I cannot stress enough: GO SLOW.

Now about your child, the most important thing when it comes to any footwear, is fit, if the shoes don't fit really, really well you are more likely to get an injury. You are talking about her getting into track and field, if she is running long distance she will need a running shoe, if she is sprinting she will need a track shoe with spikes, if she is doing any of the field sports she will need specific shoes for that sport or at least cross country or court shoes rather than running shoes.

Assuming that she is going to be running longer distances, the next thing to carefully consider is the heel height of the shoe, if your childs running gait is with heel strike first then the shoes can have a higher heel, if her gait is mid-foot or fore-foot strike then the heel of the shoe has to be very low or it will interfere with her natural running gait. When buying a running shoe I always advise getting a neutral shoe because a running shoe with pronation or supination control built into it has way too much correction and will usually cause problems rather than help.

Another thing to be aware of is that kids around the age of 12 that are very active can develop Severs Disease, this is a condition where the growth plate in the heel separates from the bone and is very uncomfortable.

Orthotics help but can't cure it, it just needs to heel and that means less activity.....remember GO SLOW!

Tom Lemke has been making custom footwear for Canadians for over 30 years.

Tom became a Certified Pedorthic Master Craftsman in 1996, and a few years later in 2003 he started his own orthopedic, orthotic and pedorthic practice: The Foot Lab. Located in Edmonton, Alberta, The Foot Lab serves clients from Grande Prairie to Nova Scotia and beyond.  Check out our website http://www.footlab.ca/ 

Our Certified Pedorthic Master Craftsman will create custom-made shoes, inserts, insoles and/or footwear modification to help you:

  • improve your walking posture, putting less stress on your body;
  • relieve foot, leg, or back pain from walking and standing;
  • walk more naturally with differently-sized legs or a partial or full amputation; and
  • relieve pain and improve balance problems caused by chronic health issues like diabetes or cerebral palsy.