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Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?
Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?

By: Dr. Aaranson

 

An experienced runner knows a well-fit shoe is priceless, especially when you face the uphill section of a marathon. Improper fits can cause blisters, foot conditions, and a variety of other complications. Shoes is arguably one of the most debated topics among runners: what type of running shoe is best for runners?

Support structure is important to consider: how much motion control does your shoe give you? If you’re naturally overpronated in your gait, a shoe ‘expert’ may have recommended a heavier type of shoe with more support. Unfortunately, research shows that the type of running shoe likely doesn’t matter.

A recent study published by Aarhus University in Denmark followed the running progression of 927 adults who were novice runners for an entire year. (British Journal of Sports Medicine) The runners were men and women ranging from age 18 to 65. Researchers profiled each runner’s foot to determine their most natural pronation pattern. The runners were then divided into five categories:

  • Neutral pronation

  • Overpronation

  • Severe overpronation

  • Underpronation

  • Severe underpronation

All the runners were given the same model of neutral-motion, lightweight running shoes with GPS trackers to record mileage and injury instructions. The runners were allowed to run at whatever pace and to whatever distance they chose. Over the course of a year, the 927 runners ran a collective 203,000 miles. There were approximately 300 medically confirmed running injuries reported from the runners. The data told a different story when it came to shoe type.

Among all runners who ran at least 600 miles in the year, the injury rate among neutral pronation runners was slightly high compared to runners who overpronated. This is the latest study to confirm previous research that choosing a running shoe based on foot type can often lead to a higher risk of injury. (NCBI)

What prevents running injuries? Other factors, such as body mass, running mechanics, age, previous injury, and training regimen all seem to have more influence on whether a runner experiences an injury. Choosing your running shoe based on comfort may be the best approach. If you’re comfortable in your own shoes, you may be more inspired to hit the road and stay healthy along the way.

Running with a new knee or hip may take more time than you may like. Many patients who undergo a knee replacement experience a new lease on life and activities they enjoy doing. Our Orthopedic Associates team created a FREE resource to help you navigate knee replacement recovery. Download your FREE copy of The Step-by-Step Guide to Recovering from Knee Replacement Surgery and What to Expect Following Surgery”.

If you do suffer from a running injury, your best step is to connect with our board-certified physicians at Orthopedic Associates. We can explore the extent and nature of your injury and determine the best treatment method for your recovery. Start a conversation with Orthopedic Associates today.





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