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Buying the right shoes can prevent foot injuries. The main factor determining what a foot needs is the arch, which can be high, regular or flat. According to Kimberly J. Lazaruk, a physical therapist at Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point, feet with high arches need rigid shoes, feet with regular arches need normal shoes, and feet with low arches need motion control shoes. Lazaruk also explained tests that can be done to see if a shoe is worn out and needs replacing.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

Marines learn differences between good, bad running shoes

9 Jun 2011 | Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

When a group of Marines are told to be in green-on-green PT gear, you will see that they all match until you look down at their feet. One thing Marines usually don’t have in common is the type of shoe they wear.

Every person’s body is built differently – especially the feet. Some people have high arches, some have flat feet, but the one thing they have in common is they are able to find and purchase the exact shoe that fits their unique needs. 

Personnel from Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point recently held classes in the Semper Fit Center to teach Marines and Sailors how to pick the proper running shoe for their feet, which can help reduce the chance of injuries.

“The feet are the first contact that the body has to the floor, so it’s really important to have a good running shoe for your foot,” said Kristin A. Widmayer, a physical therapist for the health clinic. “Two of the major problems of getting the wrong shoe can be shin splints and planter fasciitis, two things we see that can put a patient out for a while.”

“First, they need to know what type of foot they have – if they have high arches, normal arches or low arches,” said Kimberly J. Lazaruk, a physical therapist with the clinic. “If they have high arches, their feet are really rigid, so they need a shoe that’s more cushioned and more moveable. If they have normal arches, they just need a normal stability shoe, nothing really fancy about them. If they have low arches, they will be looking for something that supports an arch and gives them an arch when they land, that’s a motion control shoe. The biggest thing is to know your foot type and then learning what shoe would best correspond to that.”

It is important for a person to know when it is time to replace the old shoes with new ones, Lazaruk said. Runners should replace their shoes every six months or 300 miles, depending on how often they use their shoes. There are several tests to see if shoes are ready to be replaced. When sitting on a flat surface, shoes should sit flat.  Place a finger on the toe of the shoe and rock it forward; if the shoe tilts to either side while rocking, then it should be replaced. Also, bend the front of the shoe up, it should bend equally. If any part of it bends suddenly, it should be replaced.

If a person continues to wear worn-out shoes, he or she  will eventually cause damage and injury to their body.

The cost of maintaing good running shoes can be quite inexpensive compared to the price you could pay for neglecting the care of your feet.

Marines are responsible for keeping themselves in fighting condition and maintaining the manpower of their units. When one Marine goes down, it affects more than just the individual. The Marine Corps depends on being full force for the fight, and Marines can keep force preservation by taking care of themselves first.

“You always try to have 100 percent unit readiness, the more Marines that are ready, the better you are to accomplish the mission,” said Sgt. Cameron S. Neivert, a section leader in 2nd Platoon, Battery B, 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion. “The two principles of Marine Corps leadership are mission accomplishment and troop welfare. If I’m taking care of the Marines and they’re taking care of themselves, then mission accomplishment comes easier and you can take the fight to the enemy.”

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point