Are your shoes affecting your running style? - intraining Running Centre

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11 Aug

Are your shoes affecting your running style?

 

Are your shoes affecting your running style?

ARE YOU A NOISY RUNNER?  YOU MIGHT BE WEARING THE WRONG SHOE.  

WE LOOK AT DIFFERENT SHOE STYLES AND HOW THEY CAN IMPACT YOUR RUNNING.

If your fellow runners can hear you coming a mile away, it’s likely your shoe’s heel pitch could be a contributing factor. Heel pitch is the difference in cushioning or height underneath the heel, compared to the forefoot. The heel pitch of running shoes ranges from zero to 12 millimetres, and variations in pitch can have a big impact on your running performance. The biggest influence of heel pitch is usually in relation to the way your foot lands and the resulting wear patterns, which affects the way the front of your foot is loaded.

WHAT’S THE SAFEST AND MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO LAND ON THE GROUND WHEN YOU RUN?

There are misconceptions that landing on your heel can impact your performance and increase your risk of injuries. But it doesn’t matter whether you land on your heel, midfoot or forefoot. Landing on your heel is a natural and common way of running for many of us and is unlikely to have any impact. What’s important is that the strike pattern is natural for you, and that you don’t over stride. If your foot lands too far in front of your body, it increases braking forces and can also increase injury risk. Overstriding can occur regardless of your landing pattern.

YOU MAY NEED A HIGH HEEL PITCH IF YOU OVERSTRIDE OR HAVE PAIN WITH A LOW SOLE

Shoes with a higher heel pitch encourage your foot to land earlier. Runners are also more likely to land on their heel given the additional bulk under the heel. Unnatural heel landing patterns can result in slapping or pounding with forefoot loading. Overstriding is also common in runners with an unnatural heel strike pattern. If you are wearing a shoe with a lower heel pitch and find yourself stabbing the ground, experiencing tightness through your calves or pain in the foot or forefoot, it could be a sign you need a higher pitch. Most runners who experience calf and Achilles tendon injuries are usually encouraged to avoid shoes with an insufficient heel pitch.

YOU MAY NEED A LOW HEEL PITCH TO GET YOU RUNNING MORE NATURALLY

On the other hand (or foot!), a lower heel pitch encourages a midfoot or forefoot landing pattern due to the lesser bulk and cushioning protection. For some runners, a lower heel pitch can encourage a more natural landing pattern.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT PITCH IS RIGHT FOR ME?

The right heel pitch depends how you run naturally and what feels most comfortable for you. Listening to how your foot lands is the best way to determine if the heel pitch (and the flexibility of your shoes) is working with your feet. Your running style should feel natural, easy, and should be as quiet as possible. At intraining, we match you with the right footwear by getting you to run in the shoes. We listen and watch your running style to let you (and us) know if the shoe is right for you.

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