Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Are Corrective Shoes For Runners A Myth?

For years, the running shoe industry has claimed that if you pronate your feet, you need corrective shoes to fix that problem. The idea behind this was that if you over-pronate, or under-pronate, you will get injured without these corrective shoes. But that may all have been a big myth to get you the consumer to purchase these shoes.
A new study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine says that ordinary shoes work just fine for runners regardless of how you pronate.
Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark gave 927 novice runners with different types of pronation the same "neutral"- non-corrective running shoes. After one year and over 100,000 miles of running, 252 of the new runners experienced injuries. 
The runners with the over/under pronation had significantly fewer injuries on average than those with neutral pronation.
This isn't the first study to look at a counterintuitive conclusion. A study was published in 2010 took runners, measured their pronation rates, and then randomly assigned them shoes that were either for over-pronated, under-pronated, or neutral feet. The same results occurred in this study as the new study: runners with the "correct" shoes had the highest rate of injuries. All five of the over-pronated runners given motion control shoes ended up with injures.
So what should runners do who pronate? The researchers in this latest study are careful to say, "[m]ore work is needed to ascertain if highly pronated feet face a higher risk of injury than neutral feet." 
Reference: Popular Science
If you are a runner with a foot or ankle problem, call our Rocky Hill or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Jeffrey S. Kahn, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Medicine Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Rocky Hill and Middletown, CT
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