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April 12, 2012
Having done the hard yards, PTI CPL Aaron
Rawnsley is well placed to offer advice about
sports shoes. CPL Mark Doran reports.
Choosing the right shoes
BEST FOOT FORWARD: There are many types of shoes available but you should take the time to find
the one ones that suit you best for the job at foot.
Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
CPL Aaron Rawnsley says a good
pair of shoes offers protection
from injury -- and he should know.
The PTI from RMC-Duntroon
has completed a running biomechanics
course and is completing his diploma in
For the past 18 months, he has
focused on the research and application
of the minimalist footwear transition and
put his knowledge to the test in May last
year by competing in the 100km North
Face 100 in the Blue Mountains.
He completed the run injury free --
coming 78th out of the 800 competitors
in 13hr 41min.
He says a good pair of shoes reduces
muscle or joint aches caused by poor
Running shoes are more comfortable,
protective and durable than ever before
and CPL Rawnsley says there is a very
diverse range available -- which can
make it difficult to choose the right pair.
"There are specialist shoes for just
about every different application you
can think of," he says, "like high-top
shoes which provide ankle stability for
court sports such as basketball; cross-
training shoes for general fitness and
walking; lightweight running specific
shoes which suit different foot types;
and tennis shoes with flexible soles
suitable for the quick side-to-side move-
ment and agility experienced when
playing court sports."
To decide which types of shoes are
best for you, you need to work out how
There are three types of running
style: fore-foot strikers, mid-foot strik-
ers and rear-foot strikers. Most runners
tend to rear-foot strike, landing on the
outside of the heel and rolling their foot
inwards. This is called pronation.
Some runners over pronate as their
feet roll too far inwards which can lead
to lower leg and knee injuries, while
some runners under pronate as their feet
roll inwards only slightly and do not
absorb the shock as well, which can also
lead to injury over time.
Sprinters tend to run on the balls of
their feet and endurance runners tend
to have a flat/mid foot shuffle. The cur-
rent fashion is barefoot running, which
forces people to run on the balls or soles
of their feet.
To work out what your foot type is
you need to check your arch height and
one way is to use the "wet test".
Wet the bottom of your foot and then
make a footprint on a flat, dry surface
such as a white piece of paper on a hard
If your wet footprint is very full and
wide you have a low arch and flat foot
and most likely over pronate (25 per
cent of runners).
If the print is of heel and toes mostly
you will have a
high arch and
pronate (25 per
cent of run-
A print of
your full foot
curve for arch
is normal arch
pronate to cor-
rect degree (50 per cent of runners).
You must then consider the shape of
the bottom of the shoe as this is related
to your foot type.
CPL Rawnsley says there are three
main shapes: straight shape for over
pronators, curved shape for under prona-
tors and semi curved shape for normal
"For flatter feet that over pronate, you
will need a shoe to control motion other-
wise known as a motion-control shoe.
"With a straight shape, normally the
shoe gives maximum support to the foot.
"Look for a firm rather than soft
midsole with denser material along the
inner edge of the shoes and a firm heel
counter to reduce rear foot motion.
"If you have a high arch, your feet
are not as good at absorbing the shock
so you need to look for a cushioned
For more information on footwear, 3 Bde PTI
WO2 Simon O'Regan has prepared a video
presentation which is at http://iarmymediali-
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