Whether you are a professional athlete or play sport for fun, the demands made on your feet are increased and can lead to a range of injuries, which may be caused by how you walk or run. Foot deformities like bunions may also develop and you might require bunion treatment for you to continue with your sport.
The study of movement or gait is known as ‘biomechanics’. The alignment and function of ligaments, bones and muscles determines the way in which we move. Running shoes in recent years have been designed to suit runners with different biomechanical needs. They are as follow:
- 1. Motion-control shoes
These are the most rigid and are designed to slow the rate of pronation; therefore these are for the runner who over-pronates. They are generally heavy but very durable. They may include such features as a medial post, polyurethane midsole and a carbon rubber outsole for durability and to reduce excessive flexibility. Many are built on a straight last, which offers stability and maximum medial support. This type of trainer is for the runner who over-pronates and needs control, or has orthoses which require a firm midsole and deep heel counter. This style of shoe is also for a heavy runner with flat feet.
- 2. Stability shoes
Stability shoes offer a good blend of cushioning, medial support and durability. To provide stability, they often have a medial post or dual-density midsole. They are usually built on a semicurved last, which affords greater performance. These shoes are for the midweight runner who doesn’t have any severe motion-control problems and wants a shoe with medial support and good durability. Runners with normal arches are often fine in stability shoes.
- 3. Cushioned shoes
Cushioned shoes generally have the softest midsoles and the least medial support. They are usually built on a semicurved or curved last to encourage foot motion, which is helpful for the underpronator or supinator. These shoes are designed for the runner who is efficient and doesn’t overpronate and doesn’t need any extra medial support. Runners with high arches as a general rule often do best in cushioned shoes.
- 4. Performance training shoes.
Performance training shoes are simply lighter or more responsive versions of standard trainers. Usually they are built on a semicurved or curved last, they are designed for fast track training or racing. Some are relatively stable, others are not. They are for the quick efficient runner who wants a light second shoe for fast-paced training; or a racing shoe, which gives more support and cushioning than that offered by a superlight racer.
- 5. Racing shoes
Racing shoes are ultra-light weight, built on a curved last and stripped of the majority of cushioning and stability features found on most training shoes, they are generally a lighter shoe. These are for the fast elite runner concerned predominantly with weight. These shoes are only for a very light runner or a runner who can run a marathon outside 2.45 or 1.30 for a half.
- 6. Off-road shoes
Off-road shoes or ‘trail’ shoes offer increased outsole traction, a midsole similar to those of stability shoes and uppers with toe bumpers and reinforced stitching for more durability. These are for the runner who does a lot of off-road running and needs shoes with extra traction, a more durable upper and extra protection from the terrain.
This article briefly outlines the different types of running shoes on the market. If you require any further information or an assessment to find out which running style you have please contact our Podiatrist, Michelle Cox at The Wyndham Centre.