It can be frustrating for a runner to be sidelined with an injury. The act of running places considerable stress on the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments – even the most experienced and efficient runners see loads of 2.5-3x their body weight going through the lower limb during running. The effects of these stresses are more significant for runners who have had time off after an injury; and the longer the hiatus from running, the less load the body can tolerate initially.
The key to a successful return to running is to allow the soft tissues time to adapt and to reintroduce the stressing demands of running at an appropriate rate and volume. This is achieved through conditioning and strength training, proper periodisation of a return to run program, and running shoe choice may also have an impact.
We have spoken at length in previous blogs about how crucial progressive load exposure and lower limb conditioning are to returning to running following injury here. Below we look at types of running shoes before outlining our top picks for post injury runners.
Finding the Right Shoe
The right pair of running shoes will help prevent further injuries and improve comfort. But the right shoes for one person will likely be different for another. Finding the right pair for you is about knowing what kind of runner you are and what’s comfortable for you.
To find the right shoes, you may need to consider the pronation and supination of your feet, which describe the natural movements of the foot. This is particularly important if you are injured or recovering from or susceptible to injury. Luckily, there are shoes to compensate for these movements, which combined with correct preparation and strength training, can significantly reduce the chance of injury.
Types of Running Shoes
There are three basic foot types and running shoes come in slightly different shapes to match them. A simple way to determine your foot type is to look at the impression you leave when your foot is wet. A better option is to have a gait analysis, which involves a trained individual observing how you move your feet.
Shoe types include:
- Cushioned – combines arch support and cushioning, designed for a runner with a neutral foot (do not excessively pronate or supinate)
- Stability – provides extra cushioning and shock absorption, designed for runners who over-supinate.
- Motion control – offers rigid arch support for people who over-pronate.
Research suggests neutral shoes work well for most people. Comfort, balance and fit are ultimately more important than the shoe type, especially when you’re trying to reduce stress after injury. It’s just a matter of trying lots of different shoes for the perfect fit.
Recommended Running Shoes Post Injury
There are many factors to look at when purchasing a new running shoe, none of which should be more important than change! If you have a long background in running, and a long list of previous injuries, you will likely be less adaptable to change. Our best advice would be ‘wear what you’ve worn before!’. However, we often get the question of which specific running shoe is ‘best’, so we thought we’d offer some suggestions.
Below we list a variety of options with these factors in mind.
- Asics MetaRun
This shoe is aimed at long distance runners, claiming brilliant fit, stability, cushioning and weight. Released in 2016, this shoe boasts four new patent and five new technologies focused on providing a light, adaptive, stable and comfortable shoe with a glove-like fit.
- Nike Lunareclipse
Aimed at those looking for a lighter running shoe, the Lunareclipse offers great cushioning, stability and upper performance for neutral to mildly overpronated runners.
- Saucony Kinvara 7
This is a minimalist shoe designed for short distance running, featuring a cushioned midsole and great stability. A depression in the heel insert helps centre the foot, with an aim of reducing stress and strain while offering a smoother run.
- Asics Kayano
A good running shoe for mild pronators who are after a long distance running shoe that offers a lot of support and cushioning. A “go to shoe” for many years for many runners. Asics were the most used brand of shoes at the Busselton Half Ironman in 2017.
5. Mizuno Wave Paradox 3
Mizuno work very hard on running shoe technology and have a huge band of loyal followers. Their shoes were the second most popular choice for athletes at the Busselton 70.3 in 2017. The Paradox is the one shoe that replaced both the Nirvana and the Alchemy. It is a step up in stability from the Inspire, offering a very stable ride with the signature responsive Mizuno feel.
As always, if you unsure of which running shoes you should be in, or are suffering from running injuries, make sure you drop in and see one of the experts at Star Physio to help you back to pain free running!
Strength Training and Conditioning
Another effective way to minimise the risk of future injury and reduce strain is to strengthen the muscles involved in running. Our team at Star Physio in knows that tissue strength confers protection against injury – beyond all else!!. In fact, you can reduce overuse injuries by almost 50% using conditioning and strength training techniques.
Call 08 9212 4254 or contact us online to book an appointment today.