Running: Why You Get Knee Pain After Running And How To Treat It
A trainer thats not designed for running isnt going to be able to take the shock from your body. That can lead to shin splints, fractures, Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis, where the fascia under the heel becomes torn says Steven Paterson, learning and development adviser for running specialist store Runners Need.
That might explain why so many of us who have now begun running are feeling slightly sore and achy in our muscles and joints.
The first error we might be making is not having a cushioned midsole, says Steve. So, once youve rid your running kit of your old Converse, Stan Smiths and other flat-soled shoes, you need to get more specific with your feet.
How To Choose A Trail Shoe
Todays trail shoes provide specialized features for a variety of different terrains. Heres how to sort out what you need.
Receive $50 off an eligible $100 purchase at the Outside Shop, where youll find a selection of brand-name products curated by our gear editors, when you.
To say that trail running shoes have come a long way in the past 20 years is a gross understatement. Back when off-road running was still in its nascent stage, trail running shoes were mostly either awkwardly morphed versions of road running shoes or slightly slimmed down light hiking shoes, and, honestly, not many were very dynamic or trail worthy.
Fortunately, the evolution of trail running shoes has resulted in lightweight, agile, cushioned, protective and grippy models that canand shouldbe chosen based on the types trails you run most often and the features you like best in a shoe. The challenge is that those design variables cant easily be isolatedthey can only be valued as part of the sum of an entire shoeand that means theres some give and take when it comes to trying to figure out which shoes to buy.
Six Tips To Get The Right Shoe In The Right Size
Find your exact shoe size.
Sure, you’ve been a size 11 since ninth grade. But we’d still recommend tracing your foot onto a sheet of paper and measuring it to the sixteenth of an inch and using a conversion chart to double-check.
When in doubt, go up a half-size.
When youre pounding the pavement repeatedly, your foot tends to swell. A slightly roomier fit reduces the potential for busted toenails and other too-snug issues, like irritation of the tendons on top of your foot.
Figure out what kind of feet you have.
Everyone has a unique gait, and manufacturers offer shoes that conform toor help addressspecific gaits. Particularly over-pronation, where the feet roll inward excessively, transferring weight to the inner edge instead of the ball of your foot. There’s an easy at-home test for this: Get your feet damp and step onto a piece of cardboard or a paper grocery bag. If there’s more than a thin sliver of arch showing in your footprint, you’ve got flat feet and should look for shoes that say they’re designed to help with stability. People with normal arches can opt for a neutral shoe. And if there’s a gap between your heel and the ball of your foot, you’ve got high arches, and should opt for a neutral shoe, tooa stability design will be counterproductiveand consider a thicker-midsoled shoe, because high arches don’t absorb pounding as well.
Think about what the type of running youll be doing most.
Note the return policy.
Dont overthink it.
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Tips For Buying Shoes Online
Whether youre shopping online or in a store, these are the steps you should be taking before purchasing.
1. Know Your Size & Fit
First you need to know the dimensions of your foot. While videos like this one can show you how to find the right shoe size, its best to let a professional do it for you.
Now you dont necessarily need to go to the doctor for this. You can visit a nearby shoe store and have a skilled professional record your measurements.
He/she will have you stand on a Brannock and adjust it to record the size of your feet. Most boutique shoe stores should have both a skilled professional and a Brannock device.
2. Avoid Popular Retail Stores
We recommend you avoid Footlocker or Foot Action because its highly unlikely any of those retail folks are skilled craftsmen or shoe experts. Except if it concerns the latest Nike Hyperdunk 6000 VRZ Midrange. In which case theyll talk gibberish to you.
If you cant find a boutique shoe store close by, you should do a Google search for nearby shoe business. Then call around to ask if any of those stores have what you want. This beats driving around aimlessly looking for a store.
3. Find Your Shoe
After youve found your store and gotten your measurements, youre ready to start buying shoes online.
4. Buy Arch Supports
The third thing you need to do is get yourself some arch supports. If you followed our advice to meet with a professional who uses a Brannock, you should know your arch length as well.
Consider Your Foot Strike
Most people land on their heel while running, while some people land more on the midfoot or forefoot.
There is not a sinlge best way I am actually a supporter of the fact that any landing works as long as it works for you.
What is important though is to be aware of this and to pick a running shoe that works for that particular gait.
One of the easiest indicator of this is the heel to toe drop, also known as offset or just drop, which is the difference in height, in millimiters, between the heel of the shoe and the toe.
Traditional running shoes, have a drop of 10-12mm and are more indicated for people who land on their heel. Other shoes have drops between 5 and 8mm and work well for a midfoot landing. There are then low-drop shoes, or even zero-drop shoes that are meant for runners who land on their toes.
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What Socks Are You Running In
It may sound silly but the thickness of your sock can make a big difference difference to the fit and feel of your shoe, especially as your feet expand in the heat. Always wear the socks you intend to run in when you go for a shoe fitting.
Consider a good, technical running sock specifically designed with added arch support and extra padding across the ball of the foot, toes, and the heel for better impact protection.
Although comfortable we wouldnt recommend wearing cotton socks when running. Cotton retains moisture, add to that the heat and friction from running and youre likely to end up with blisters, calluses, and hot spots.
Always ensure your socks are higher than the back of your running shoes otherwise they’ll slip down during your run causing friction hot spots on the back of your heel.
How Do I Know If I Need Minimal Or Maximal
Looking at the wear patter on the sole of your shoe can help pin point if you have any gait issues, like rolling your foot inward consistently and wearing down the inner side of your shoe. This lets you know that support shoe and PT are going to help prevent injurybut the minimal vs maximal is a different ballgame!
I wrote an entire post on why I actually use both and how you can decide> >
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Go To A Specialty Running Store
When looking for new running shoes, get them from a local specialty running store instead of a wholesale sporting goods store or online.
In general, special running stores hire professional staff who understand shoe construction and are experts in matching foot type and mechanics to running footwear.
This is exactly the kind of assistance youll need to find the right sole-mate.
Keep in mind that this whole shoe fitting process takes time, at least a half an hour.
Dont feel rushed into making any decision.
Can I Take Them For A Test Run
Buying running trainers is a big investment, so its important you always test them properly before buying them. Padding around on a carpeted shop floor doesnt quite replicate how the shoe will feel and respond when youre out running in them. Always ask to take them for a test run on our in-store treadmills.
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Can I Just Use The Same Pair Of Running Shoes All The Time
NO. Long run shoes, speed workout shoes, trail shoes, there are different reasons to have multiple shoes, but the biggest is actually injury prevention.
Part of that is not letting your body get lazy by allowing say a support shoe to compensate for your weak hips. Theres also a lot of science behind it, check out this entire post on why and how to rotate your running shoes!
Running Gaitthe Underpronation Gait
Also known as supination, if you underpronate, then this means that your foot rolls out during a running gait.
The outside edge of the heel strikes the ground at an increased angle but does not roll inward during the gait cycle.
This causes a massive transmission of shock through the lower limbs.
This results in insufficient impact reduction upon landing, putting a lot of pressure on the leg.
Some of the common injuries among underpronators include shin splints, ankle sprains, and plantar fasciitis.
Doesnt sounds nice, right?
If your shoes have a slight or a significant outward tilt along with wear patterns on the outside edge of the sole, then chances you have an underpronation/supination running gait.
Runners with high arches are likely to be supinators.
Best Running Shoes?
I highly recommend neutral shoes with adequate cushioning properties for increased shock absorption.
Measure your arch really well so you can add sufficient cushion.
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Do I Pronate When Running
Even though pronation is necessary for running, it can happen at vastly different levels in each runner, which can be problematic. Runners with arches that barely collapse are referred to as supinators, while runners with arches that collapse too much are called overpronators.
Wash Your Running Shoes
Sure, you wont necessarily deteriorate your shoes faster if you do not keep them clean, but you will definitely if you clean and dry them improperly.
Never put your running shoes in the washing machine.
Instead, get the dirt off the shoes by wiping them down with a shoe brush or a dry cloth after use.
Let your sneakers air dry completely instead of placing them near a heater vent or tossing them in the dryer.
Never use chlorine or peroxide to clean up.
Soak them for a moment with gentle detergent is enough.
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Check The Returns Policy
This is common sense, but still worth bearing in mind. Trevor Prior, the in-house podiatrist for the footwear and orthotics specialists Vionic, says: Make sure you pick a brand with a good returns policy, as you will need to try on a range of shoes and opt for the one that feels the best. Lots of brands have a 28-day policy, but beware the ones that dont accept shoes that have been worn, especially outside.
Choose Running Shoes Based On Your Foot Type
Selecting shoes based on your foot shape and gait narrows down your options even further.
How? All runners come into this sport with their own unique traits and habits.
- Our feet are bound to follow suit with different standing and striding positions.
- Understanding the range of possible foot postures from pronation to supination and where your feet lie along the spectrum can offer insight on how much support you need in a shoe.
- Runners who tend to overpronate upon hitting the ground, for instance, benefit from a more structured design to reinforce a stable stride while softer shoes balance out supinated gaits.
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Questions To Ask Answers To Look For:
Once youre in the store, be prepared to answer a long list of questions as honestly as possible.
Some of the questions include .
- What are your preferred running surfaces?
- What is your foot type?
- What is your gait type?
- How many running workouts you do per week?
- Are you a forefoot striker or a heel striker?
- Do you do any sort of speedwork, faster running?
- What is your average weekly mileage?
- Are you looking for conventional or minimalist shoes?
- How much do you weigh?
If you dont get asked some of these questions, know that youre getting the wrong help.
Remove yourself from the premises immediately, and look for your shoes somewhere else.
That store doesnt care about your needs they just want to make more sales.
If Youre Running Pain
Motion control or stability shoes prevent your foot from pronating, a natural movement that occurs when you move forward and your ankle rolls inward and the arch of your foot flattens. Everyone pronates, but in some people the effect is more pronounced, and earlier evidence suggested this overpronation could be linked to running injuries like shin splints and runners knee, says Paquette.
As a result, companies begin designing shoes to correct this, installing plastic posts or denser foam into the shoe to correct this motion, Paquette says. Thus, the stability, or motion-control, shoe was bornas was the term neutral shoes, to identify those that lack these stiff pieces and allow your foot to move more naturally.
The problem is, when runners began wearing motion-control shoes, overall injury rates didnt change that much, as Nigg points out. And when scientists did follow-up research, measuring biomechanical factors like pronation and then watching to see which runners got hurt, the results were all over the place. Some studies showed a link between pronation and injury risk, others none, and at least one study even suggested overpronation might actually protect against injuries, Paquette says.
While science is not exactly clear on the benefit of correcting overpronation with running shoes, that doesnt necessarily mean you should skip them.
But What Happens If Youre Diabetic
Consider this: individuals with foot ulcers caused by diabetes are 5.1 times more likely to have improper shoes than diabetics without foot ulcers. Furthermore, one of the biggest issues affecting diabetics is neuropathy .
Diabetic nerve damage usually happens in your bodys extremities. Places like your feet and hands are at risk, especially since theyre so far away from your spinal cord and brain. In some cases losing feeling in your legs and feet may eventually lead to the development of infections.
Nerve damage is very serious. Once nerves are destroyed, nothing can restore them again. This is why people suffering from diabetes should be wearing proper shoes that fit their feet.
While these facts are of major importance to diabetics, finding a shoe that fits is still important to you.
How To Find A Cheap Pair
Yes, David, your tips seem to fine and dandy, but good running shoes are pricey, right?
The most expensive shoe in a store doesnt mean its the best option.
But, most importantly, there are many things you can do to find cheap options.
For starters, go for last years version of a mid or top-range shoe.
The differences wont be that important, but youll, at least, get a top-shelf pair for a fraction of the price.
You can also look for bargains. Some of the places to check out when shopping for running shoes are department stores and outlet malls.
Most shoe retailers, including Nike, Adidas, and Brooks, have homes at these outlets, which means you can get your hands on those expensive pairs at a discount.
These stores also prefer to move products quickly, so they often discount the slow-selling items, such as running shoes, as well as semi-annual sales theyre always advertising.
Getting your shoes online is another option.
According to the analysis of prices from 41 online retailers conducted by RunRepeat.com, getting your shoes on, one can save you about 40 percent.
That stands for roughly $40.
Of course, this option only when you already know your feet really well.
Here are a few of my favorite shoe websites:
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How Experienced Are You
A mistake I made as a running newcomer was buying a pair of expert-level shoes that my body wasnt prepared for. This happens a lot, says Solberg: If you are a new runner and your body has not been conditioned to cope with the impacts from running, you might want to consider a more stable shoe. She says comfort plays an important role in preventing running-related injuries. In other words, runners may be less likely to get injured when wearing footwear that feels as comfortable and natural to them as possible.
Get Started By Walking
Walking is a great way to get active and even to slowly work yourself into running. While some brands do create specialized walking shoes, running shoes are equally good to walk in. The cushioning and close fit of a running shoe provides support to your foot as it moves, regardless if you are walking or running.
Read more about using running shoes for walking.
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Have You Had Your Gait Analysed
Using video technology to analyse your running style, our expert fitters can assess how much you pronate – thats the extent to which your foot naturally rolls inward when you run and where your foot strikes the ground.
They will then be able to recommend you a running shoe based on foot shape, terrain, pronation and personal preference from a range of top brands like New Balance and more.
It is important to remember that each shoe and brand will fit slightly differently even if the size is the same. You should have at least a thumb width between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe ideally for running.