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using your soles to get an extra running edge

the majority of people get interested in running and other sports to keep the wolf from the door in terms of good health and weight maintenance.

And while you may initially enjoy the notion of being able to eat more, there is something truly addictive about keeping fit once you start to see results. Your passion often deepens once you realise that maintaining fitness is as tricky as trying to keep cupped water in your hands.

You take your eye off the ball for any substantial period of time and you lose form. Knowing this is, no doubt, part of the addiction.

And of course human beings aren't designed to stand still, so when we get to like something and even get good at it, we need to know how we can do the same thing with better results.

Footbalance at Elverys (analysis is free) is an expert examination designed to establish what your foot type is. Do you overpronate; what kind of arch do you have? etc.

the analysis: As you stand on the podoscope a Footbalance expert examines your arches and foot and ankle movement, using a computer-aided analyser.

Based on this, the expert will help you identify the best type of shoes for you. If insoles are recommended, a pair can be rapidly custom-molded for you to try immediately in the store. You build up the time you wear them slowly, a couple of hours on day one etc.

my results: I turned out to be an overpronator, my ankles roll inward to absorb shock more than they should - over time everything below the lower back can be affected by this.

You can be born this way or it can happen due to overuse, injuries or lack of support. Studies have shown that custom made soles can support proper foot function.

Verdict: I got my custom made soles at the end of October and have been running or walking with them most days since. I can't say for sure if they have improved my running but they do make me feel more supported. I ran without them a few times ahead of writing this and I missed them. When I got them in Elverys, Suffolk St, I also got a pair of Brooks runners, which are relatively new to the Irish market and well worth checking out. Everything is a sum of parts so don't expect any one thing to offer a solution to any human problem, however if it's an edge you're after then Footbalance custom insoles (€47-€50) are worth the small investment.