NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- "The perfect fit." Those three words gave a young girl in a fairy tale world a better life. We can all take a lesson from Cinderella, because having the right type of shoe, especially for physical training, can make a world of difference.
Kelly Kamperschroer, "Gym Boss" and MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) representative for Precommissioning Unit (PCU) Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), began the "Fit-to-Win Teleshoe Clinic" to help outfit the crew with the right physical training shoes.
The Teleshoe Clinic is the first of its kind on an aircraft carrier. Already widely used in the Army, the clinic analyzes the running technique and the current pair of shoes used while working out.
Kamperschroer said she received special training to conduct the clinic, which came in handy, especially, when she had to modify the equipment used for the program, making it portable to be used on the ship.
"A lot of running injuries, such as knee pain or shin splints, can be prevented by wearing the right shoes," said Kamperschroer. "More than half of all military personnel are wearing worn-out, mechanically incorrect running shoes," she added.
Along with evaluating shoe wear, Kamperschroer also looks at natural posture in the shoulders, hips, knees and arches. Digital video recordings are made while the participant runs for 30 seconds, barefoot and with their running shoes.
The information is then sent to Shari Tomasetti, the Fit-to-Win Teleshoe Clinic administrator at the Pentagon. She examines all of the information gathered and analyzes foot shape and gait type. Afterwards, Tomasetti recommends one of three types of running shoes (stability, cushion or motion control) depending on the individual's needs.
"Running shoes are a runner's primary training tool," Tomasetti said. "We provide the active runner with a safe and effective training program based on the principals of weight training, cross training and proper running programs."
"Everyone runs differently," said Kamperschroer, "The universal thing you can ask people to change, without adding injury, are their shoes." She recommends replacing running shoes every 300 to 500 miles, or every six months for high-mileage runners. "It's a matter of educating people in the proper selection of running shoes."
Putting on the right-fitting shoe may not result in a fairy tale ending, but the correct type of shoe can help with healthy running the rest of your life. And, just maybe, you'll live injury-free, happily ever after.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76.