First, let us start by saying, not all shoes are for all people. People’s activities often dictate the type of shoe they should be wearing. However, all shoes should seek to do these common things.
1. Provide balance while weight bearing
2. Accommodate foot deformity
3. Bring the forces of the ground up to the plantar surface of the foot
When assessing your running shoe there are a few modifications to each shoe you can take note. These include flares, rockers and offset.
A lateral flare on a shoe often prevents lateral roll-overs that can lead to ankle sprains. If you have history of lateral ankle instability, then this modification is for you. If you have issues with pronation or a flatfoot, a medial flare would be of benefit.
Rockers have the ability to restore motion, and typically relieve pressure across the plantar aspect of the foot and ankle joint. Heel rockers are necessary for rigid soled shoes and people with decreased ankle range of motion. Forefoot rockers improves your stability through midstance and are indicated for people with hallux rigidus or metatarsalgia. If you have midfoot pain there should be a double rocker built into your shoe. Offset is an important aspect of running shoes.
The offset is the difference between the thickness of the heel versus the thickness of the forefoot. Generally, high offsets (over 7 mm) can be of benefit for people with Achilles tendinitis or run with a heel strike. Low offset (less than 6 mm) is better for front or midfoot strikers.
Let’s review our running shoes from this month:
HOKA- IRONMAN RINCON
– Choice shoe for hallux limitus and all day wear
– Large heel and forefoot rocker
– Midfoot support
– Low offset
ALTRA- TIMP 2
– Large forefoot area- accommodates for bunion deformity and issues with the fifth toe
– Low offset
– Increased tread for trail running/ walking
BROOKS- LEVITATE 2
– MESH UPPER SOLE AND DEEPER TOEBOX ACCOMODATES HAMMERTOES
– LARGE FOREFOOT ROCKER
– HIGH OFFSET
– HIGH OFFSET- GOOD FOR ACHILLES PAIN
– FOREFOOT ROCKER- GOOD FOR FOREFOOT SYMPTOMS/ HALLUX RIGIDUS
– NO HEEL ROCKER
– SMALLER TOE BOX WITH STITCHING- MAY NOT BE IDEAL FOR BUNION AND HAMMERTOES
All of these shoes are available to see in our clinic. Check out our monthly raffle for a chance to win a free pair of shoes and gift basket by following us on Instagram @footandanklespecialists_racine. Make sure to like our giveaway post to enter to win!