Watch your footwear when you train

SINGAPORE- The pain in his ankles when he was training for a marathon last year was intense.

Army regular Izaac Koh, 33, decided to change his running style and bought a pair of super-light shoes which cost him $110.

He ran fewer than 10 times in those shoes before hanging them up.
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“My ankles were hurting badly,” he said.

So he bought another with conventional cushioning for $120.

It alleviated the pain, but not for long.

He said: “Over a distance of 42km (for the marathon), the pain was eight or nine out of 10. I walked the last 12km, I could hardly feel my ankles – it was that painful.”

What Mr Koh did not realise was that his right leg was shorter than his left by 1cm and that he had a high arch – these two factors contributed to the pain in his ankles which lasted six months. He required customised insoles, not new shoes or a different running style.

Changi General Hospital podiatrist Hu Wenyan, 26, said that people with high arches are prone to “stress fractures” along the metatarsals, or mid-foot bones, because they are unable to absorb the impact on the knees while walking or moving.

Mr Koh’s experience is not unique.

As more people here take up running and other sports, doctors and podiatrists are seeing more foot and other leg injuries.

Changi Sports Medicine Centre consultant Roger Tian, 42, told The New Paper that several ankle and knee problems are due to “poor footwear selection”.
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