The 64 million dollar question – because that’s about the amount your average runner will spend on shoes in a lifetime.
The prevailing wisdom was that certain foot types need certain shoes. With “XYZ groovy named technology” constructed in the shoe. It’s been a mainstay of podiatry and shoe companies that certain feet are the devil and you need to keep them at bay with reinforced shoes, orthotics, etc etc.
Then of course came barefoot running/minimalist/finger shoes whatever name you give it. While interesting from an evolutionary biology standpoint, the fact is, like the paleo diet (whatever your version of that is) just because humans used to do something, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for modern humans.
With either of these viewpoints, in terms of injury prevention, this reasoning doesn’t really stand up to examination.
This great article nicely sums up recent, sturdy research into shoe types, facets of construction and different feet.
Have a read and then come back to me.
So what do varying the type of shoe or the heel drop do to a runner?
It changes the ……… LOAD
The main factor in running injury is LOAD
The best way to avoid injury is to vary, progress and minimise rapid changes in LOAD.
Your foot shape has been the way it is for years and isn’t going to change. If you pronate a lot (remember some pronation is NORMAL) it looks like some support is a good idea.
But I spend much more time analysing, talking about and practicing HOW you run, not what you run on.
So if you keep getting injured, looking at you is much more effective, cheaper and longlasting than looking for the magic shoe.
The best part of that article is the advice which clients of Newcastle Performance Physio will be familiar with – if you find a shoe that you like, stick with it.
Until next time