As with most of my articles, this is based on my experience and discussions with other runners. As the heading suggests, all feet are different.
When I decided to start running, I did the logical thing, I bought a pair of running shoes passing through customs on my way back to SA from a holiday and listened to the salesman as to what was the best pair for me.
Five months later I had a severe grade three stress fracture on my left shin. Now one thing about a stress fracture, it could be from over-training, the wrong shoe, your body composition and other variables.
The next logical step is go to a podiatrist for expert advice. The conclusion, anti-pronation shoes with orthotics. Great, off we go. But things weren’t going that smooth and I had further problems with my calves and hamstrings. So, off to a reputable podiatrist. The conclusion, I’m a perfect runner with no need for an orthotic, just a standard neutral shoe. Once again, off we go. However, still not feeling comfortable on the run. Another opinion with conclusion no orthotic but a mild anti-pronation shoe.
Just a note, all testing was done on the same machine.
Enough was enough. Time for my own testing and a little self confidence in my own body in that it will tell me what’s correct for me.
My conclusion, a neutral shoe with orthotics. Seems so logical now. An orthotic is there to assist with the pronation, why go further and purchase a anti-pronation shoe and double up on the support. Can only do damage.
Is there a best shoe out there for you. YES. Which one, well ask the shop to lend you a pair for a week to try out. If it feels comfortable, buy four pairs and pay them off. As for whether you need an orthotic or a neutral shoe or a mild anti-pronation shoe or a full anti-pronation shoe – I wish you the best of luck because it seems that not even the experts can agree. Listen to your body and do what’s good for you.