• Melbourne Marathon Festival - Footwear tips from Mia Solomon

Grab your bestie, your dog, your motivational playlist and your specially fitted running shoes. It’s your last chance to train. That’s right, it is only one week until the roaring crowd of thousands cheer you into the MCG.

The Melbourne Marathon Festival is in its 42nd year. With a crowd of over 40,000 in 2018, this year is set to be even bigger. Participants get a rare opportunity to experience Melbourne’s famous landmarks with five scenic courses for all ages and abilities.

Melbourne Marathon 42.195km
SriLankan Airlines 21.1km Half Marathon
ASICS 10km Run
Westin 5km Run
3km Walk

In preparation for the event, I interviewed Active Feet Spokesperson, Mia Solomon to get her advice on how footwear can impact your run.

Marathon Ready - Are your runners up to scratch? 

Interview with Mia Solomon from Active Feet

Can the right footwear improve your run?

The correct footwear can definitely help your performance in running. It is like any sport, where the better quality the equipment, the better it can perform. A shoe offering the correct levels of support, whilst also catering to fitting requirements, will help boost comfort for the wearer. This in turn will help you run better, and for longer.

What are some common mistakes people make when choosing runners?

One issue a lot of people have when choosing suitable footwear is taking their friends’ and family’s advice. Not to say that advice can’t be helpful, but it is important to remember that your feet are as unique as your fingerprint. What works for one person, won’t necessarily be right for you. Someone who wears an ASICS GEL-Kayano may think it’s the best shoe in the world and recommend it to a friend. However, their friend not need as much support or have different bio mechanics, activity level and history. That is why it is important to find a shoe that fits YOUR specific bio mechanics – and to ask the expert to help you break down which shoe is right for you and why.

Is a long distance running shoe different from a short distance or gym shoe?

A long distance shoe is quite different to a “racing” shoe or a “gym” shoe. Due to the continued force of the foot repeatedly hitting the ground, a longer distance shoe needs suitable cushioning to help avoid injuries. A gym shoe is typically flatter (lower HHD), and doesn’t really have much cushioning at all. They are designed to have the foot sit as flat on the ground as possible to ensure exercises such as a deadlift or a squat can be completed with a stronger core and centre of gravity. A racing shoe is typically lighter weight, and is made so by removing significant levels of cushioning. The racing shoes can still have some structure to offer support, such as an ASICS DS-Trainer, but is primarily designed for the runner to wear it on occasions when they don’t want to carry excess weight.

How can you look after your feet when taking part in something as intense as the marathon?

Training is the key to preparing you and your feet in the best way possible. In regards to footwear, it just comes down to the quality and suitability of the shoes. They need to offer the correct amount of support, be properly worn in, and the right size. If the shoes haven’t been worn in, excess friction inside the shoes can cause blistering relatively quickly. A shoe too small/big can also have similar consequences. Be prepared to lose toenails if the shoe is too small, and be prepared for blisters around your achilles if they are too big.

Want more running tips? See Tim Crosbie's advice on yesterday's post.

Melbourne Marathon Festival  

Sunday 13 October 2019