Running Shoes – Footwear Advice !

Foot Pain Running? How and Why Footwear Matters. 

Lets face it, we are trying to make the most of this time of isolation. We want to be healthy and maybe take the opportunity to reach our fitness and health goals.  Without access to the gym or our fitness groups we are forced to get outside and get moving! Running is easy, right? We put on a pair of shoes on, put one foot in front of the other and get our heart rate up. An unexpected pain in your foot has put a road block into your plans. 

What to do if you get foot pain.

The first thing people should do, who experience foot pain, is rest and also take a look at what they have on their feet. I am offering some suggestions for what types of shoes to look for when you are experiencing pain in certain areas of your feet. 

Simple Terminology You Should Know When Buying Shoes 

Heel Drop – this is the difference of the heel height in relation to the forefoot height. A heel drop from 8 mm up to  12mm is seen as a higher heel drop. A lower heel drop is from 6mm down to 0 mm. 

Neutral shoe does not offer any gait correction. Stability offers gait correction for people that have flat feet or their knees and feet collapse inwards. Support is defined as non corrective gait movement guidance, this is seen in Brooks footwear as guiderails.

Foot Pain Symptoms and Shoes to Look For 

A key note – With any foot pain issues, a stiffer sole of some substance is better for foot pain. A soft sole may feel nice, but a stiffer sole adds stability to the foot. Brooks tends to have their shoes on a firmer sole across the board. Other lines may have firmer options. 

Achilles pain. Achilles issues can arise from lack of flexibility, calf weakness and pronation issues. Depending on if your issue is a result of pronation or not you should shop for a shoe at least a 10mm drop. 10 -12 mm heel drop brings the ground up to the foot and helps to alleviate strain off the achilles.

Tibialis Posterior Pain. Pain on the inside of your shins or inside of your arch. A 10 – 12 mm drop.Stability or support shoe will help with this. This problem usually arises from weak hips, calf and feet.

Plantar Fasciitis – 8-10 mm heel drop.  A firmer soled shoe with pronation control and a wide toe box. This problem usually is a complex one! I like a more supportive shoe with pronation control and a wider toe box. Intrinsic weakness is common with this condition. Having a wider toe box allows one to use toe spacers to help work their intrinsics when exercises. I also like a higher drop as calf tightness and weakness is also common with this condition. Bringing the ground up to the foot helps to take off some tension from the foot. 

Pain bending the toes upwards or a toe sprain – Any of the carbon plate shoes will to go well with this . These fancy shoes include the zoomfly, TC New Balance, Saucony Endorphin Pro and Hoka Carbon X shoe. 

Metatarsalgia or pain in the ball of their feet- Now these people would respond well to a lower drop 4-8 mm. I also recommend more cushion in the forefoot and wearin a met pad. Certain met bads are better than others for running. Materials that absorb sweat can lead to hot spots and friction/ blisters. That is no fun!

There you have it ! A few common foot conditions with footwear choices. 

A key note, when going down into a lower drop be careful. It takes time to adapt to that drop to avoid any achilles or ankle issues. 

Happy Running !