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09 2014
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  • Author: Tyson
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Choosing the Correct Stability Shoe

“I’m having trouble with my legs; I think I overpronate when I run.....”  We all seem to self diagnose, whether it be Man Flu or chronic Plantar Fasciitis and runners are particularly adept at this.  In all my years performing Gait Analysis I have come to realise that determining the correct type of shoe and support for the foot is very much a unique experience for every person I meet.  As many as half the people I serve will overpronate to some degree and require help from a stability shoe.  However, the range of shoes available can be quite overwhelming and confusing to those who don’t fall asleep clutching a copy of their favourite monthly running publication.

Most manufacturers of running shoes have and continue to spend a vast amount of money developing shoes to help support the foot when running and maintain a better alignment of the leg by supporting the foot under the arch and around the heel.  This category of shoe is widely referred to as a stability shoe or support shoe.  They work by reinforcing these particular areas under the arch and around the heel.  There are several factors that can affect how the shoe works, including the position of the cushioning, the shape of the foot and the specific biomechanics of the individual wearing it.  This is why it is so important to perform the tests and compare shoes to see how they work for you.

There are several ways to help determine if you need stability shoes, including the tried and tested wet foot test. Looking at the footprint left after walking across the bathroom floor can certainly be a starting point and will provide a good indication as to whether you need the support or not.  The fuller the footprint, the higher the chance you might need some degree of support in your shoe. If you have any concern over your need for support the only way to discover exactly what is going on when you run is to seek out a specialist running store and have a video gait analysis performed on a treadmill.  There really is no substitute for this as you can see for yourself the way that you run and the effects of the shoes on your gait, not to mention get advice from someone who is knowledgeable on all the current models of shoes available.

Some of the latest examples of stability shoes include the adidas Sequence Boost, Asics Gel Kayano 21, New Balance 860, Brooks Adrenaline GTS and Saucony Omni 13.  All brands have their version and there is almost too much to choose from.  I get asked on a regular basis what is the best shoe or best brand?  It would be impossible and misleading to put these shoes in performance related order or push one brand ahead of another as individuals are suited to different shoes.  I can only conclude by stressing the importance of testing these shoes against your own unique running gait.  Some will work, some might not and they should all offer some degree of support, but you will find the shoe and brand that help you the most and ultimately improve your running experience.

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