Now that you’ve chosen to run, I’m sure that you’re already aware of the importance of a good pair of shoes. But are they the RIGHT pair of shoes for you? Some of you, and even me might ask. Right shoe? It says it’s made for running and it feels good enough so it’s right for me. Well, it has come to my attention that I’m an over-pronator. Sounds complicated? Well simply put: My feet roll inward when I walk/run. Hmm, this would explain the joint pain in my knees that are on the inside…
Now, the question here, is how do you find out what type of feet you have? Here is a run down compliments of coolrunning.com:
The over-pronator. — You over-pronate when your feet roll in when you run, and you supinate when your feet roll out. It’s natural to pronate somewhat when you run, but many runners have feet that simply overdo it. Take a look at the bottom of your running shoes. If you are an over-pronator your shoes will be more worn on the inside edge of your shoes than the outside edge. In severe cases, the shoe will actually slope dramatically inward. You may have trouble with shin splints or runner’s knee. Over-pronation is a symptom of highly flexible feet that need a little help from their running shoes to maintain stability. For added motion control in your shoe, you will generally have to sacrifice a certain amount of cushioning. Rest assured, it’s worth it.
Specifically, you should look for a shoe with a firm midsole, especially on the inner side of the shoe. The shoe should have a straight board last and a rigid, durable heel counter. A good arch support might be helpful.
The supinator. — Supination is the opposite problem. Your foot rolls outward when you run, and you can tell by the fact that the soles of your running shoes are worn and compressed along the outside edge. Supination tends to put too much stress on the bones, tendons and ligaments on the outside of the foot. Because you don’t pronate enough, your foot is doing a lousy job as a shock absorber. You may have trouble with ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome and knee pain. Supination happens pretty much exclusively to runners with rigid feet, often with high arches. You need a flexible shoe that will give and bend where your rigid foot will not.
Look for a shoe with a very soft midsole — it should compress fairly easily with your thumb. There should be very good cushioning in both the heel and forefoot. The heel counter should be flexible and essentially useless — not rigid. Finally, the shoe should have a curved (or semi-curved) slip last.
The neutral foot. — Here, you don’t need to worry much about stability or motion control. Your foot handles the job just fine on its own, thank you very much. In fact, too much motion control may actually screw up your foot’s naturally smooth action. Look for a nice, cushioned ride with a shoe that has a semi-curved slip or combination last.
Now, that we know what shoe type we are, I’m going to say this: the shoeth doesn’t make the runner. Nope. The shoes are just the start of conquering whatever ails you. Now, as you might’ve gathered, I’ve recently had a bout of knee pain. It has become a bit of a concern for me and along with other concerns, some of you might have, knee pain, shin splints, ankle pain, hip pain.. The list goes on from here. But if it distresses you, you might find solutions to your problem by doing some simple exercises. Have a look here for further information.
But since my issue is knee pain, I’m going to go over some things I’ve discovered. After a run, don’t use a heat rub. This just burns and makes you far more aware of your discomfort. No. Instead, elevate you leg so it’s straight and ICE it for about 15minutes. Take ibuprofen after running and then, before bed, use a heat pack on your knees for about 30min. That being said, the main issue lies with my muscles not doing their job and so some strengthening exercises will help.
I hope this is informative and helps you enjoy your running more. Right, on the to-do list for me is a new pair of shoes and exercises to better support my knee.