When the outside part of your heel makes initial contact with the ground, the foot “rolls” inward and comes in complete contact with the ground, and should be able to support your weight.
This movement is called “pronation,” and it’s critical to proper shock absorption so you push off evenly from the front of the foot.
Do special running shoes help pronation and keep the foot from injury? Keep reading to find out!
(picture by RehabChiropractor.com)
This summer, a Danish study with 927 participants, ages 18 to 65, checked the everyone’s pronation and then gave them the same lightweight running shoes without extra cushioning or raised heels.
Some of the people had what would be considered the wrong kind of shoe. For a year the participants ran for as little, or as far as they wanted to each week.
25 percent were injured, but whether or not they had normal foot posture, or they under- or over-pronated made no difference. In fact of those who ran an average of at least 11.5 miles a week, the over-pronaters were less likely to get injured.
While this study suggests that foot type is irrelevant for runners wearing ordinary shoes, it can’t tell whether special shoes make a difference.
A study at the University of Calgary suggested that if running shoes feel comfortable they may reduce the risk of injury. This study gave soldiers a choice of six different shoe inserts of various hardness, elasticity and shape of the arch and heel cup.
They were then asked to keep track of any injuries over the next four months. Whichever insole they chose, injuries were lower than among participants in a control group who ran without insoles. The inserts varied a great deal in their shock absorption, so what seemed to matter was comfort.
Distance runners should be advised that the ideal type of running shoe is unknown, but that those who are not getting injured should stick with the type they already have, and only try different models if they are getting hurt.
The best advice for anyone starting out seems to be to try on lots of shoes and to choose the ones that are most comfortable.
If you have foot pain, do not let it go untreated or it could very well get worse. Get your foot looked at today so that tomorrow is pain-free.
Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak make an appointment with a foot and ankle doctor about your foot and/or ankle needs.