AllCare Foot & Ankle Center in Dallas is your source for podiatric care—we have the years of experience, top-tier facilities, and experienced medical staff members to prove it. But there’s something that’s more important to us than treating foot ailments, and that’s preventing those ailments in the first place.
Running enthusiasts are some of the most frequent flyers in our office—they put a great deal of stress on their feet and ankles, and have a high likelihood of developing pain, soreness, and other foot and ankle-related problems.
With that said, we also realize that runners are very passionate about what they do—they’re borderline obsessive at times—and they’ll do just about anything to ensure that their bodies are healthy and ready to run.
In this blog, the Dallas podiatrists at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center present “An Ode To Runners” of sorts. We’ll give runners tips for finding the right running shoes, practicing proper running habits, and dealing with running-related pain and injuries. This is information meant to keep runners healthy and safe, so they can spend more time running and less time in our office.
How do you run?
While all runners are putting one foot in front of the other, it’s how they perform that motion that determines what kind of running shoes they’ll need to support their running motion. Everyone has legs that are shaped and positioned differently, and everyone’s spent a lifetime developing their own unique walking and running motion—so unless your motion is fairly severe, you shouldn’t be too worried about which of the three motions you fall under. As we’ll note below, there are steps you can take when buying shoes and performing the running motion that will ensure you stay healthy and active.
To find out your type of running motion, all you have to do is take a look at your running shoes, or even an old pair of shoes that you’ve spent a lot of time in. The wear and tear on the soles will show you how you strike the ground with your feet. This is commonly known as a “wear pattern.”
Neutral pronation (also simply known as pronation) shows a sole wear pattern centralized at the ball of the foot, as well as a normal amount of wear and tear on the outside of the heel. Neutral pronation aids in impact absorption during the running motion, which takes a great deal of pressure off of the knees, ankles and back. A relatively small percentage of runners are neutral pronators, and that’s a shame—it’s the most biologically efficient and most ideal running motion.
Another relatively rare running motion is supination. This running motion is highlighted by wear and tear along the entire outer edge of the shoe, resulting in an outward rolling of the foot and an increase in muscle size and growth on the top, inner part of the foot (sometimes, this appears bulbous and swollen).
These runners are at the highest risk for injury—a motion that favors the outside of the foot can lead to ankle rolling and, in turn, sprained ankles. Plus, this type of running motion provides little to no impact absorption for the feet, ankles, knees, and lower back, which often leads to running pains and uncomfortable running-related injuries.
While not too many runners supinate, those who do must find proper corrective footwear to reduce the risk of injuries. Shoes that provide plenty of cushion and flexibility are ideal for supination runners.
Overpronation is, by far, the most common running motion, highlighted by wear and tear near the ball of the big toe and back/inside of the heel. This wear and tear is a sign of a slight inward roll of the foot and ankle.
These runners are at a very high risk for knee pain and injury because of their high-impact and relatively “violent” running style. To correct this issue and avoid injuries, overpronation runners can purchase stability and motion control running shoes, which are many common amongst major brands in the running shoe community.
That’s it for part 1 of our series on staying healthy as a runner. Stick around for part 2, and check out our other blog posts in the meantime!