In a recent study in the British Journal of Medicine, researchers found that recreational runners who wore motion control shoes were LESS injured than those who wore cushioned Shoes. 372 runners, with varying foot types (neutral, pronated, supinated) were randomly given either a motion control shoe (consisting of a medial arch support and medial foot density 15% greater than the cushioned.) The overall injury risk was lower among the participants who had received motion control shoes. Retrospectively, they concluded that those with pronated feet may benefit most from this shoe type.
What does this mean? Medial support to the lower extremity in stance phase of running gait positions the leg in a more biomechanically efficient posture and lessens the stress on surrounding soft tissue structures (muscles, tendons, ligaments, ITBand.)
Keep in mind:
- Running is not only about feet. The hips and core control the center of mass. Lack of control in this proximal area leads to distal injuries.
- How your foot lands and progresses through the running gait cycle is not that simple. If your forefoot is held in a varus posture, during running it may APPEAR to be pronating, but not actually everting at the calcaneus. This is what we call “functional pronation.”
Bottom Line: We agree that the foot should have some medial support in running if needed, and there is no harm in giving it to other people as well (Usually they wont be “over-corrected.) In this case, the benefit outweighs the risk!
Reference: Br J Sports Med. 2016 Jan 8. [Epub ahead of print] Injury risk in runners using standard or motion control shoes: a randomised controlled trial with participant and assessor blinding. Malisoux L1, Chambon N2, Delattre N2, Gueguen N2, Urhausen A3, Theisen D1.
Wendy Winn, PT, OCS Director
New York Custom Physical Therapy. 295 Madison Avenue #1026 New York, NY 10017 212-682-7860