Anecdotal Shin Splints Cure: Running Backwards

My cross country coach had a lot of “theories” which were of dubious merit. One of the ones which stuck with me the most was his recommendation to run a couple hundred yards backwards at a slow speed as a way to prevent shin splints. I listened to him then, and I have often heard people recommend this as a preventative measure against suffering the pain of shin splints. Be careful though as there are some natural pitfalls if you want to try it out for yourself.

Like most things, your results may vary. Some people swear by this but I can’t say it’s helped me do anything but look a bit silly while warming up for a 5 mile jog.

March 6, 2007 | by Admin

Under-Pronators and Supinators – Try a Neutral-Cushioned Shoe

Under-pronators and supinators: Do you tend to have some running pains in your joints? If so, a flexibility or neutral-cushioned shoe might be right for you. Here’s why:

Under-pronators (those who roll the foot inward enough during your stride) and supinators (those who roll the foot outward during your stride) often don’t hit the ground with the majority of your feet. This can be partially due to high arches, and mainly due to the mechanical motion of the foot. The consequences of this are that the feet (the “shock absorber” for the leg) don’t work to their full effect and often put increased strain on the leg, causing injuries such as ankle pain, heel spurs, and pain in the knees. To combat this motion, runners need to find shoes that offer minimal support on the medial (inner) part of the foot so that it has an easier time turning inward.

Flexibity shoes often do this. They are frequently lightweight compared to other shoes and have a soft sole to help absorb and spread impact throughout the foot. Additionally, they have minimal to no stability features to curb pronation, allowing the foot to roll inward to its maximum.

Flexibility shoes tend to work best for lighter under-pronators, as their soft features tend to be less durable than those in stability or motion-control shoes. For heavier under-pronators, a flexible stability shoe may be the solution.

February 25, 2006 | by Admin

What is Under-Pronation?

If you did the paper-towel test and found that you have a high arch, or if you are bow-legged, you may be vulnerable to under-pronation. Under-pronation is the opposite of pronation, and occurs when the foot doesn’t collapse enough to absorb the shock of each step you take.

If you’re a little confused at what under-pronation means, think of it this way:

Walk forward with your right foot. As you step forward, you first touch the ground with the heel of your foot and then proceed to touch it with your toe. Your foot should also roll slightly from outside to inside (from right to left) to protect the legs from receiving too much impact. When you under-pronate, your foot tends to not roll enough, sending too much impact throughout the legs.

Runners who under-pronate may experience the following symptoms amongst others:
-Ankle rollover
-Achilles tendonitis
-Knee, hip, or lower back pain
-Plantar fasciitis (heel spurs)

Fortunately, there is an entire line of running shoes – flexibility/neutral-cushioned shoes, out there for under-pronating runners. To see whether or not you are a under-pronator, go to a specialty running shoe retailer so they can do a gait analysis of your foot. For reviews and further information on under-pronation, continue to puruse our website for reviews!

February 21, 2006 | by Admin

Brooks Shoe Advisor Makes Picking Shoes Easy

Brooks Shoe Advisor Makes Picking Shoes Easy

Anyone who know a lot about running shoes has heard the name Brooks. Brooks Running offers a variety of shoes geared toward both runners and walkers, for trails and on the road.

I recently rediscovered Brooks when I found out I was an over-pronator. Taking the advice of a fellow runner, I decided to research different brands of running shoes online to see what the right shoe was for me.

Brooks’s website features a shoe advisor that helped me pick out the perfect (Brooks Branded) running shoe. I checked off the boxes: female, for road running, severe over-pronator, flat foot, medium weight. Brooks offered me two shoes: The Brooks Ariel and the Brooks Addiction 6. Since I had already received two recommendations for the Addiction 6, Brooks simply reconfirmed my decision.

To find out which running shoe is best for you, visit our Brooks running shoes review category.

January 17, 2006 | by Admin

Prone to Over-Pronate? Try a Motion Control Shoe

If you overpronate, like many runners out there, you know what a (literal) pain it can be. Overpronation, for those of you not familiar with the term, is an inward rolling of the foot during a running stride. While all runners pronate to a certain extent, some of us (usually with flat feet) turn our foot TOO far inward when we push off. This can lead to a number of injuries, including shin splints, IT band syndrome, and heel spurs.

One way to counter over-pronation is by purchasing motion control running shoes. Motion control shoes, or durability shoes, do precisely what they say – they support the flat arches that most over-pronators possess, helping them to have a more controlled gait. One example is one of the best running shoes on the market, the Brooks Beast motion control shoe. For more info on motion control running sneakers, please see our motion control page.

January 13, 2006 | by Admin

Arches Tell All: Ten Seconds to a Quick Gait Analysis

Wondering if you’re an overpronator, supinator, or a stable runner? One indicator of your running stride may be your natural arch. Not sure what your arch looks like? One commonly used test is the paper-towel test. Simply wet the bottom of your foot and step on a paper towel for a few seconds. Then take a look at the results.

If you have a high arch: Less of your foot may be hitting the ground with each step. You are likely to supinate, which can cause injury to the ankles. The solution? A semi-curved, cushioned shoe that encourages flexibility.

If you have a normal arch: Lucky you. You are likely making a normal stride. The best sneakers for you are stability shoes that have moderate control features.

If you have a flat arch: There is a good chance you overpronate, which can cause a number of injuries in the knee area. Most likely you will need a running shoe with motion control and high stability, so that the foot stays in place with each step.

The paper-towel test is a good first step to analyzing your gait, but is not 100% correct. The best solution is to talk to a biomechanics expert or go to a running store to get a better idea of your running style.

January 3, 2006 | by Admin