If you try and buy yourself a running or walking shoe without proper advice then you have a high risk of buying the wrong shoe and causing yourself an injury. Unfortunately you can no longer just choose a running shoe by colour or something that you think looks cool!
Even for a trained podiatrist the amount of running shoes on the market can be potential mine field. Each individual running shoe will offer a different level of pronation control, stability, cushioning, width, arch height, heel height etc. The list goes on and on. You get one of these parameters even slightly wrong and your feet will let you know about it.
Why foot pronation is so important
One of the most important parameters to get right is the amount of foot pronation. So why is this so important when choosing a running shoe?
Foot pronation is the inward rotation of the foot. This movement is vital as it helps the foot adapt to the ground when your walk or run. By doing this your foot acts as a shock absorber for your lower leg and body. When your foot pronates it also causes the lower leg to internally rotate thus creating a chain of movements up your leg and into your knee, hip and pelvic joints.
The right amount of foot pronation helps everything function perfectly, however it can be a fine line between good and bad.
Too much foot pronation (commonly referred by podiatrists as excess pronation) will cause too much rotation leading to joint instability and overuse of muscles. This can cause joint alignment issues as well as muscle pain.
Too little foot pronation will cause the foot to become too rigid and a poor shock absorber. This causes higher forces being transferred to other joints higher up the chain such as the knee and hip. The result is joints being “jammed up” and unable to freely move, resulting in pain.
How can I ensure I buy the right running shoe?
If you want to make no mistakes when you buy your next pair of running or walking shoes then take the time to visit one of our Melbourne podiatrists and have a proper gait analysis first.
Our podiatrists will assess your feet and walking or running gait. They will then advise you on what running shoe best suits your feet to get the right amount of foot pronation control. If foot pronation is excessive then they may even recommend orthotics to help restore the proper level of pronation.
Once you get your feet into the right running or walking shoe, with the perfect amount of pronation, your feet will never feel better and you will never look back.