Running shoes, injury risk and FAQ’s ,

Star Physio running expert Dan Davis

Dan Davis, Star Physio Physiotherapist, running shoe and running injury expert

By Dan Davis, Physiotherapist and Exercise Scientist- Star Physio

Having worked in the running shoe industry for several years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a diverse clientele, from which common some questions around footwear and injury risk have arisen. The aim of this blog is to begin to address some of these questions by simplifying what we often see as marketing ‘jargon’ and potentially begin to challenge some common held beliefs in this realm. I’ll begin with the two most common questions I’ve been presented with in recent times:

“I’m going to be running more, therefore a running shoe with more cushioning will make me less prone to injuries?”

An answer of ‘yes’ would make sense from a simplistic ‘force through the lower limbs’ view point and indeed there is some evidence showing injury risk to be slightly lower with regards to running shoe type (in this instance a Nike Pegasus versus a more minimalistic Nike Free). However, when considering this in the context of reducing overall injury risk, the answer is a more complex. If the goal is to increase volume of running, a new pair of more cushioned running shoes is going to be relatively insignificant compared to the emphasis that needs to be placed on tissue capacity (or ‘strength’) and load management (how much are you increasing frequency, intensity or duration of your running). For example, if the demand placed upon the tissues (or put simply the legs) outweighs that of their capacity, injury risk is going to inherently be higher. We know that the body adapts and changes to the demands placed upon it but we also need to be aware of allowing enough of a time frame to allow these changes to occur.

How do you go about managing your load, or making yourself resilient to injury through improving strength? Contact Star Physio and come and see me or one of my expert colleagues to put together a graduated running program and strength program so that you can enjoy your running with vastly reduced risk of injury! At the same time I can help you find the best running shoe for you without worrying about all the advertising rubbish!

So, when placing emphasis on needing new shoes to ‘combat’ injury risk or perhaps to manage a current injury, think about what other (stronger weighted) factors may also impact upon this outcome, and if you are already dealing with some niggles from running, don’t wait for it to get too severe, get in touch today and the experts at Star Physio will help get you back on (the) track!

For more information on running shoes and related injuries and prevention, also check out the blog from Star Physio Director Dr James Debenham (PhD) here http://starphysiowa.com.au/questions-from-the-clinic-what-footwear-should-i-wear-and-should-i-forefoot-run/

Dan Davis is available at Star Physio West Perth and Hay St Mall for physiotherapy treatment, rehabilitation, running analysis and bikefit.

Get in touch today
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