BIG Problems with Motion Control Running Shoes


The purpose of motion control stability running
shoes is to remove or significantly restrict the amount of abnormal rearfoot motions or
excessive abnormal movement patterns of the back of the foot or the heel during running
whereby abnormal, excessive motions of the back of the foot during running is referred
to as ‘overpronation’ which is considered a risk factor thought to perpetuate greater
mechanical stress up the leg and is considered a threat to the shins and the knee joint as
overpronation may be strongly implicated in causing shin splints and runner’s knee. However, injury rates are consistently high
among runners who wear traditional running shoes, which is a deeply troubling pattern
as most of these shoes do have some forms of stability reinforcements constructed in
them, and the blatant fact that injury rates are unacceptably high in these runners may
suggest that motion control stability running shoes just aren’t getting the job done. The classic approach to fixing overpronation
has kind of been proven to be unsuccessful because again, injury rates among runners
who wear these shoes remain high and I think this is what frustrates researchers who have
failed to find consistent evidence that motion control stability running shoes prevent running-related
injuries. In many cases, motion control stability running
shoes are recommended to runners with low arches because it’s thought that low arches
is indicative of overall foot weakness. In particular, if the muscle groups surrounding
the arch aren’t strong enough to effectively uphold the arch, the arch may become flatter,
which collectively, may fail to secure the motions of the rearfoot or heel during running,
thus overpronation may be amplified when the foot is weak and the arches are flat, during
running.. Ultimately, when the entire foot is weak and
the arches are low, which just to reiterate are ailments strongly correlated with increased
abnormal heel motions or overpronation during the stance phase of running, motion control
stability running shoes are used in therapeutic efforts to put tight limits on overpronation,
potentially helping diffuse an injury from festering in the first place during running. However, there are a couple of key concerns
I think are important to highlight in that there may be a number of consequential drawbacks
to running in motion control stability running shoes. One major drawback is an obvious one, in that
motion control stability running shoes may prevent natural muscular engagement from circulating
throughout the foot, keeping the entire foot in an ongoing inactive fragile state, which
can be grave danger for any runner because foot weakness may be transferred to ankle
weakness, which may lead to balance impairments during running, and balance instabilities
is certainly a precursor to a running injury. Another eye-opening concern with respects
to motion control stability running shoes is that researchers have discovered that overpronation
patterns may differ between heel strike running and forefoot strike running. Why is this a problem? Well, it turns out that much of the research
on overpronation in runners have been on runners who ran with a heel strike running style to
which the foot motions in heel strike running is completely opposite to that of forefoot
strike running. From this, it’s safe to make the case that
heel strike runners may over-pronate differently than forefoot strike runners given that the
foot motions in both running styles radically differ. Since much of the research on overpronation
usually involves heel strike runners, there’s a good chance that the motion control stability
running shoes are structurally tailored or engineered to specifically accommodate the
over-pronation patterns unique to heel strike running and not so much to accommodate the
potential unique overpronation patterns of forefoot running because remember overpronation
patterns of the foot between heel strike and forefoot strike running may differ because
the movement patterns of the foot are radically different between these two styles of running
and this is something I want to emphasize because if a forefoot runner runs in a motion
control stability running shoe that is most likely geared towards correcting the overpronation
patterns in a heel strike runner, this could set the stage for an injury for the forefoot
runner. In fact, we have seen what could potentially
happen if a forefoot runner runs in a motion control stability running shoe. The results came from a 2006 study published
in the American Journal of Sports and Medicine, the researchers discovered that motion control
stability running shoes increased the risk of injury in forefoot runners with low arches
as these shoes were found to be completely ineffective at reducing peak tibial acceleration
(which is a known risk factor for causing shin splints and tibia fracture) The results from this study may suggest that
all that may stand between a forefoot runner with low arches and injury prevention are
motion control stability running shoes which were found to potentially place enormous strain
on the shin or tibial shaft during forefoot running probably because the overpronation
patterns often differ in forefoot running than in heel strike running, meanwhile the
vast majority of motion control stability running shoes on the market are also known
as heel strike running shoes because as I briefly outlined, the majority of motion control
stability running shoes are more sufficiently tailored to fix the overpronation patterns
of heel strike runners and not so much for forefoot strike runners. Given the limited effectiveness of motion
control stability running shoes in forefoot runners, especially forefoot runners with
low arches, but remember it’s been said that runners with low arches may overpronate more,
but this assertion seems to apply to heel strike runners, not so much in forefoot runners. There’s a black hole in the scientific literature
with respects to what we know about the overpronation patterns in forefoot runners and if even over-pronation
is a risk factor for injury in forefoot runners, like it seems to be in heel strike runners. Thus in terms of the research, there is an
enormous amount we don’t know about how pronation patterns may differ in heel strike running
and forefoot running. For all these reasons, it may be sensible
for a forefoot runner to stay away from motion control stability shoes by virtue that most
motion control stability running shoes are structurally intended for heel strike runners. What we are beginning to learn however, is
that there may be many mechanical characteristics of forefoot running that may allow for more
controlled, safe pronation patterns of the foot which may have implications for decreasing
the reliance on motion control stability running shoes, and I spoke about those findings in
one of my previous videos which is linked down below in the description box if you want
to learn more about how forefoot running may streamline more controlled pronation which
is of course a more convenient alternative to motion control stability running shoes
as these shoes tend to be heavy, clunky and inflexible which is going to allow muscle
weakness to make its way into the foot, giving rise to unusual developments in the foot’s
anatomy that may cause foot problems, discomfort and balance destabilization within the foot
ankle complex because these shoes virtually inhibit much of the muscular activity in the
foot. Much of the foot’s musculature is essentially
offline in these shoes! So, just for a little summary, motion control
stability running shoes may not be entirely effective for forefoot runners to the degree
that they may be effective for heel strike runners on the basis that over-pronation patterns
may differ between heel strike running and forefoot strike running and that most motion
control stability running shoes running shoes on the market are constructed with heel strike
runners in mind and not forefoot strike runners in mind
One thing is for certain is that barefoot running may be a faster- fix for overpronation. Researchers have began to make the connection
that runners who run barefoot and remember most barefoot runners typically use a forefoot
strike landing pattern, barefoot runners tend to suffer less overpronation-related injuries
because walking and running barefoot may serve as a wide port of entry that allows the foot
to self-strengthen immediately to its fullest extent which may offer credible improvements
in minimizing overpronation. Some research has concretely outlined that
increased processing of sensory input in the nerves of the bottom of the feet is directly
correlated to an increase in muscle volume and enhanced circulation in the foot, which
collectively, at its most basic level, are building blocks for a stronger foot that may
be in a better physical position to restrict, restrain and potentially limit overpronation. This is really one of the crowning components
of going barefoot more often, especially during running, because the sensory feedback that’s
processed in the nerves in the feet gets deeply integrated into the muscles and soft tissue
compartments that make up the foot; the muscles become more activated; enhanced circulation
is more streamlined, so there’s going to be more deliverance of nutrient-and-oxygen rich
blood to easily reach all aspects of the foot. This how going barefoot can keep your feet
stay in great shape. This is why I strongly feel it’s worth investing
in barefoot running, especially if you constantly grapple with overpronation-related ailments;
consider doing more barefoot walking on uneven surfaces and incrementally start running barefoot,
making sure to land with a forefoot strike and I posted a link down below in the description
box showing a proper forefoot strike landing pattern, in efforts to help clean up overpronation. If you don’t want to run barefoot, you can
definitely wear barefoot-inspired running shoes to keep the foot muscles highly engaged,
but it’s vital that you walk barefoot as much as possible to keep the sensory processing
ongoing in the foot which is really key in stimulating enhanced circulation, helping
ensure nutrient-rich blood is being delivered to where it really needs to be. Sensory input will always play a starring
role in the high-level engagement that strengthens the feet whereby overtime your foot will build
enough strength and resilience to protect against abnormal motions, especially since,
many researchers who are barefoot advocates really talk about this at length and usually
address one of the underlying causes of over-pronation is a weak foot. Because sensory processing is dangerously
depleted in traditional running shoes, I think this is one of the reasons barefoot running
is becoming more broadly accepted as a big ticket agenda item as a first resort to help
build the capacity to strengthen the feet which is going to add up to higher arch profile,
restrained over-pronation, better balance stability, better shock absorption and deflection
and a significant reduce injury risk. For more information pertaining to the research
on barefoot running as well as forefoot running vs. heel-strike running please subscribe to
my YouTube channel and please follow me on social media as well and I provided all of
those links down below in the description box. Thank you so much for listening and watching. Have fun out there on the roads and trails,
bye for now!

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