As a podiatrist, I’ll be the first to say that correct shoe selection is important. It can dramatically reduce your injury risk (we have spoken about shoe metrics like drop HERE) – but it’s not everything and it gets too much attention.

Patients of mine often present with an injury and obsess about getting in the right shoe – fair enough. Many questions are thrown my way, often with an expectation that the ‘right’ shoe will magically solve all their problems. This isn’t the case.

There seems to be a perception amongst runners that the key factor to remain injury free is shoe selection, while overload has been shown to be the main factor time and time again. You can read a little about overload HERE.

Time should be spent working on:

  1. Lower limb strength
  2.  Running technique
  3. Modifying running behaviour.

For this, correct and gradual running progressions and appropriate training programs are key.

In the clinic, we spend time rehabbing injuries so patients are strong and the risk of things going pear shaped are reduced.

There are many contributing factors to running injuries. You’ll hear me talking about ‘pieces of the puzzle’ for the runner. Some pieces are bigger than others; being weak in key running muscles is a large contributing factor. I would consider this an important piece of the puzzle to get in place.

Poor technique is another factor. A common technique fault is over-striding. Don’t strike too far in front of your body. Get that piece of the puzzle in place too.

The shoe is often a small piece of the puzzle. Get it in place, but don’t ask too much of it.

Improve your body, reduce your injury risk and improve your running.

Yours in running,

Phil de Mestre
Sports Podiatrist – Running Science