If you are struggling to find the right running shoes, try wet testing your feet. The simple 2 minute DIY at home test will show you whether you have high arches or flat feet (low arches).
Looking closely at your feet could guide you to the right type of shoe. There are two main things you should know before choosing your running shoes: these are the pronation pattern and the arch type. While the pronation type is a bit trickier to determine and evaluation requires special training and equipment, the arch type can be easily determined at home. It would give you a good start in choosing you running sneakers. There are three basic foot types according to the height of the foot arch: normal arch, low arch (flat feet) and high arch.
Which are the Arch Types?
There are three arch types – low, high and normal arches. Usually having normal arches means you have normal pronation pattern. People with high arches tend to underpronate. People with flat feet tend to overpronate. And whereas it is best that you pronation pattern is determined by specialist in a specialized store, this simple test would at least give you a direction.
You shall need:
- piece of paper (preferably dark for better prints)
- your bare feet
Fill the basin with water and place the paper on the floor near the basin. Step into the basin and then step on the paper. Stay there for 1-2 seconds and step off the paper. Look carefully at your prints and compare them to the following scheme:
If you see only your heel, the ball of the foot and almost no arch at all, that means that you have high arch feet. This foot type is the rarest of all. This can be a sign that you are underpronator. The arch of the foot does not collapse enough to absorb shock when you run. The best shoes for high arches are shoes without added stability. You need neutral-cushioned shoes which would encourage pronation.
If you can see almost your entire foot on the paper, that means that you have flat feet and that you tend to overpronate. The best shoes for flat feet are stability shoes – for mind to moderate overpronation or motion-control shoes, for the severe cases. People with low arches usually has significantly longer arch length than other two types. According to recent research for Foot arch characterization, this difference is approximately 1 cm.
If the print shoes about half of your arch, that means that you have the normal foot type. As a normal pronator you will be able to choose among all available shoes. However, the neutral-cushioned ones, without any stability support may be best for you
Remember, this fun test is just to give you basic idea and direction. By no means is this a recommendation for buying. It is possible to still overpronate even if you have high arches. For most accurate results see a specialist and test your shoes to make sure they are comfortable.
Good boots come with an expensive price tag. Cheap boots won’t last and are usually poor quality.
If you are like me, you probably have a pair or two of good, quality boots and want them to last as long as long as possible. However, I drag mine daily through mud, water, snow, rocks and rough terrains. Is it possible to delay the inevitable and make them last longer? The simple answer is “Yes, you can!” All you have to do it to take adequate care of your leather boots. Take good care of them and they will be loyal companion in your day-to-day activities at work. Sometimes it is a real struggle to get the best work boots for your specific needs, so make sure you do your best to make them last.
Step 1: Clean them every day
You clean your hands after you get home, right. Clean your boots often, too. Every time you get home with dirt or mud stuck to your boots, let it dry and brush it off. A cheap plastic brush is good enough. Brush gently to remove the dirt. It’s a bit messy, and if you don’t want to ruin your carpet or floorings, just do it outside or use a lot of paper.
Step 2: Dry them well
A stand up dryer is a very good investment. A decent piece costs less than 40 bucks and will last you a lifetime. It will dry your boots overnight and in the early morning they will be ready for the next day at work. The dryer can also be used for other stuff as well – e.g. hats or gloves, but you should get the proper adaptor first. If your household has more than one person working outside in the bad weather, get each one a dryer. It makes an excellent present and will serve them well! Be wary of cheap Chinese dryers, though. Remember the basic rule of the thumb and don’t buy cheap. Most comfortable work boots serve you well and deserve to be treated well.
Never dry your boots near a fireplace or open fire. They will get too much heat at once and cause premature cracking of the upper.
Step 3: Oil the boots regularly
Pull out the laces – we don’t want them to get on our way. Brush away all the dirt with a brush. Put your hand inside the boot so your fingers touch the front part of the boot. Get a good oil (this is praised as one of the best) and use a fair amount of it in the area between the upper and the sole. Rub the oil well in the seam. This helps preserve one of the most prone to failure parts of your boots. Rub the excess oil to the upper of the boot. Add some more oil and get around the whole boot and don’t forget the tongues. Rub oil in all the stitching too, as these have to withstand constant abuse, too.
When you work in the winter, apart from all the harsh conditions, your boots have to withstand salt as it is used on the roads. Make sure you oil your boots at least once a month to keep them in great condition.
Step 4: Let them dry and use them again
Let your boots dry in a cool, dry place overnight. Wipe the excess residue with a towel.
Bonus step: find a decent shoe-repair man. Don’t get rid of your boots the instant they show some minor wear. Get them to repair instead to get the most for your buck.
These simple steps will ensure you get the maximum mileage from your boots. Depending on the work conditions the exact lifespan will vary, but will definitely be longer than usual.
Good luck and be safe!
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