Are you wearing the correct running shoe?

A lot of ‘wear’ on your running shoes? What does this mean?

Often patients ask me what are the best brand of running trainers to buy.  There are some great trainers out there. However, all too often patients tell me of their visit to the sports shop which usually entails a run on the treadmill only to be told ‘you are pronating so you need a pair of anti-pronation trainers’.  A hundred pounds plus later and now considerably lighter in pocket and wondering.  What is pronation? Why do I pronate? Will my new trainers deliver on their promise?

What is pronation?

Pronation is the natural inward movement of the foot with heel to ground contact needed to provide shock absorption for our lower limbs. Natural pronation is a key component of our walking/running cycle.

Can I pronate too much or too little?

Yes.  Excessive inward movement of the foot can occur and this is known as Overpronation.  Overpronation can result in abnormal forces being distributed through our feet leading to increased stress on important lower limbs joints and soft tissues.

Underpronation or supination is the opposite of pronation with the outward movement of the foot.  Natural supination helps to stabilise the foot as the heel leaves the ground.  A foot that excessively supinates or rolls outwards may struggle to achieve sufficient enough pronation and shock absorption.   Patient’s who excessively supinate often complain of ‘walking on the outsides of their feet’.

What to look out for on the soles of your trainers


What type of trainers should I buy?

So, if you find any of the above wear patterns it’s important to purchase the correct type of trainer.

For overpronation an anti-pronation trainer should be worn and as a general rule with neutral/normal pronation and underpronation/supination a neutral trainer should be worn.  Most popular brands of running shoe should accommodate for the above so be sure to do your research before making your purchase.

I'd love to hear any comments on your experience of purchasing running shoes.

written by John Conlon podiatrist at Happy Feet Podiatry Services

If you would like an assessment of your feet and running shoes please get in touch with us at Happy Feet Podiatry Services  on 028 9020 5495

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Well, I am delighted to post this guest blog review from Claire O’Hanlon who accepted the challenge to overcome her foot fear.  It is worth a read……

‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ that’s how the motto goes. Well yesterday I felt the fear and did it anyway. No, my fear wasn’t jumping from a plane, or being chased by a wild animal. My fear… someone not only seeing, but, actually touching my feet!!

Anyone who knows me remotely well will know that no one sees my feet and god help the poor soul who thinks it might be fun to jokingly try to tickle my feet…. That my dear, will not work out in their favour.

But, those who know me well will also know that I can’t resist a challenge, and last week I was offered just that. When Gerardette McCann from Happy Feet Podiatry Clinic in Belfast walked into my blogging workshop, I had no idea that it would lead to me sitting in a chair and having a foot treatment that lasted half an hour…. Yes, half an hour of foot poking and prodding and tickling, that was supposed to be enjoyable… I couldn’t have imagined anything worse!

Thanks to the girls at MANI NI who suggested challenging someone to overcome their fear of feet would be a great idea for some blog content… at that point I so wished I hadn’t just told Gerardette that she would never see my feet!

So, the challenge… a half hour foot treatment in return for a review post. She had me! I can’t resist a challenge. How could I refuse?

As I drove to Happy Feet Podiatry clinic yesterday, I had goose bumps and as I got closer my heart raced a little faster. How could I possibly let anyone near my feet? Surely this wasn’t going to go well…I was genuinely afraid that with reflexes like mine I might do poor Gerardette an injury as soon as she put her hands anywhere near my feet.

I got to the door of the clinic and walked slowly to reception, kind of half thinking of turning on my heels but once I got to reception there was no backing out. The receptionist took my details and Gerardette called me in for my appointment bang on time… no time to sit and fret… that was good. Then up the stairs to the treatment room and as Gerardette filled the little foot sink I thought…great there’s bubbles, I’ll slip my feet in there so quick she’ll not even catch a glimpse. The water was so lovely and warm and the seat so comfy that I was already actually starting to relax a little. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Gerardette then calmly explained what the foot treatment would involve then it was time to take my feet from the water. I must say that having someone dry my feet felt so unnatural to me but at the same time the part of me that craved some pampering loved it. Then out came the nail clippers… my heart raced so fast as I thought ‘this is it, she’s going to touch my feet…’ but actually it wasn’t so bad, and once she had the first toe done I actually relaxed. And before I knew it half an hour was up and my reflexes hadn’t hit out, I felt relaxed and my feet felt…well…happy.

Gerardette used the perfect mix of foot soak, foot treatment, and foot rub with local product Pedisalve from Marble Hill . Even now, over 24 hours later, my feet still feel like they’ve had a little piece of heaven.

So, have I overcome my fear of people seeing and touching my feet? Probably not.

 Will I be back to Happy Feet Podiatry Clinic…absolutely!!

But no one else is seeing my feet!!

happy jumping feet

I Hate Feet!!!

Well, I don't hate feet as you well know, but the number of times I hear that comment or simply a screwed up face when I mention that I look after feet for my chosen profession.

I hate feet

In fact it happened again today to me, and I thought i'd reach out to you to see if you can explain why some people really do hate feet?  Is it that they hate feet or that they hate their feet being touched? The recipient of the comment today told me "you'd never get to look at my feet" as she backed away from me during a blogging workshop that she was hosting.  

This got me thinking and I have offered her a proposal......  I will give her a complimentary foot treatment (which I know most people would adore), and if she would DARE accept I would love her write me a review as a guest blogger here and see if I can banish her foot fear and possibly encourage some other foot haters to treat their feet.  How could she refuse?

Go on, tell me if you hate your feet....

Glitz and Glamour!

Receiving the nomination for "Clinic of the Year 2015" and making it through to the top 5 was such a prestigious accolade.  The staff went all out getting dolled up for the occasion and looked the part in the magnificent venue of the City Hall, for the Ulster Tatler Awards 2015.

Taller awards 2015

It was a very proud evening for me, to have Happy Feet considered top class in the service we provide to our patients and an honour to have my staff present at the ceremony. 

Taking my First Step!

Well, thats it I've gone and done it...... started my blog that is.  I've been talking about doing this for a while now and I've finally taken the plunge.  Firstly, I'd like to welcome you and secondly thank you for taking the time to read this.  I want this area to focus on foot care advise, hints and tips for looking after your feet and also highlight important events in the Happy Feet calendar. 

So keep in touch and let me know your thoughts on any foot topics we can discuss. 

Gerardette McGivern

Gerardette McGivern