Do you have flat feet? You could be over-pronating when you run. Are your arches abnormally high? You might be under-pronating. Through the experience of researching running shoes, and going to a specialty running store, I’m here to share what I’ve learned through my new sneaker hunt.
Like a car needs an oil change every couple thousand miles to keep it running smoothly, sneakers are transportation and need to be swapped out every 300 – 500 miles to keep the body from injury. When logging so many miles in a week, snagging cheap sneakers, without thought to how they may help or hurt the body is not the best decision. Ensure the sneakers that are going to take a pounding each day are best suited for your particular body.
Trainers counseled me that I needed a stability shoe. Many runners have the same issue as me – I “over-pronate” which means my right foot makes a sweeping motion, like a ballet move, causing it to roll in, unsupported, while my left leg runs straight. I’ve noticed that this causes some pain in my right knee, and, over a distance of many miles, feared this could result in injury.
With running shops around the country that specialize in finding a runner’s weaknesses and suggesting the right shoe to compensate, I decided to speak to an expert. A good running store has specialists trained to watch you run and see what would work best for your particular case. It’s an easy process that takes about 15 minutes. You simply run on a treadmill for about 15 seconds, with a video camera aimed at your feet. The specialist watches your gait, and can tell if you require normal support, or a special shoe.
For me, the magical answer is a stability shoe to correct my over-pronation. I am now the proud owner of the Asics® GT-2150 Women’s Running Shoe.
In the week since I purchased these sneakers, I’ve noticed a difference. The shoes are sturdy and comfortable, and provide noticeable support. When I ran without them yesterday, my foot rolled inward, already accustomed to the extra support, and I almost fell.
If you are in the market for new shoes, I highly recommend going to a runners shop, getting the assessment test and finding out which shoe will support your foot the best. This Runner’s World article contains videos of different running gaits and describes the various conditions well. Below are two stores I’ve been to that provide running assessments, but there are many specialty shops throughout the country that will run the same test:
Good luck in finding the right shoe – and I would love to hear comments or suggestions on what has worked for your over-pronation/under-pronation!