Best Shoes for Runners | Review by Seattle Podiatrist Dr. Larry Huppin
One of my primary specialties is treating
foot and ankle conditions in runners. And so probably the question I get the most from
them is, “What is the best shoe?” And, in fact, there probably is no one best shoe for
most people. There has been a tremendous amount of literature in the last probably five or
six years. Ever since about 2009 when minimalist running and barefoot running became very popular,
there’s been multiple studies done. Prior to that, there really weren’t many studies
done on the best running shoes. So the one thing we’re finding in almost all of these
studies is there is no one best shoe. Minimalist shoes aren’t necessarily better. Maximalist
shoes like this Hoka are not necessarily better. And standard running shoes like this New Balance
are not necessarily better. What they’re finding is using a variety of shoes is usually better. One very well-done study done in 2013 took
about 500 runners. They split them into two groups. Group 1 took one shoe that they liked
and they always ran in that one shoe. Then they would get new ones when they were worn
out, but they always used one model. And this is very typical of most of us who run. We
find one shoe we like and we tend to stick with it. Now, the other half of the runners
in the study, they gave two different shoes. So they might get, let’s say, this standard
New Balance running shoe, and then maybe a maximalist shoe like the Hoka, or they may
use a minimalist shoe like a Vibram, but it was two completely different shoes. The biggest finding in that study was that
those people that alternated shoes, one day they would use Shoe 1, the next day they would
use Shoe 2, those participants had 39% fewer lower extremity injuries than did the people
that ran in just one model of shoe. So the one thing we’re finding is that having multiple
shoes is really quiet beneficial. And the reason for this is that it’s like cross training.
You’re hitting in each of these shoes a little bit differently, you’re using muscles differently,
and you don’t get that repetitional motion that leads to injury. We’re finding multiple
studies now that it’s that repetition, doing the same thing over and over and over again,
that’s the biggest cause of overuse injuries. So if you do have any injuries associated
with running in your feet or ankles, and you’re in our area, of course, please make an appointment
to come in to see us. Make sure to bring your shoes with you. Bring your running shoes.
Also if you’re using any orthotics or arch support, bring those. We want to see those.
If you’re not in our area, find a podiatrist who does specialize in sports medicine and
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