Good trainers or sports shoes should not feel uncomfortable on your feet. The shoe should be lightweight and conforming—not confining to your feet. If you are thinking of the fit of your running or sports shoes during a workout, then you may have to think about getting another, more comfortable pair. A running shoe or trainer should not feel uncomfortable in any way. If it does feel that way, then it is time to review your shoe choices again.
Minimalist or Barefoot Running
Because some trainers or running shoes have been known to cause foot pain or injury, some controversy has arisen about using shoes at all. In fact, some people are using minimalist shoes or are pursuing barefoot running as an activity. People began this trend because of the belief that running in some trainers or sports shoes can ultimately lead to an injury. Advocates of “barefoot” shoes believe using a minimalist approach is safer for the feet. However, scientific studies do not support this practice.
In most instances, the primary cause of foot pain stems from the wrong fit of shoe or wrong style. For example, some men’s and women’s trainers or running shoes are designed for pronation or supination of the foot. Pronation references an inward roll of the foot during movement and happens as the outer edge of the heel hits the ground. The foot, in turn, rolls inward before flattening out.
While a normal amount of pronation is needed for proper foot functioning, injury can result when the pronation is excessive. When pronation is in excess, the arch of the foot flattens out, stretching the tendons, muscles and ligaments beneath the foot more than necessary.
Supination, which is also known as under-pronation, is the opposite movement of pronation. Supination refers to an outward roll of the foot while it is in motion. A regular amount of supination happens during the push-off stage of the running. The heel lifts off the pavement while the toes and forefoot are utilised to move the body forward. Excessive outward rolling or over-supination places a strain on the tendons and muscles that are used to stabilise the ankle and can result in a sprain or ligament rupture.
Design Is an Important Consideration
If you do not wear the right trainer, or one that is designed to keep over-pronation or over-supination in check, you can suffer from an injury. Even if you are running barefoot, you can suffer injury. That is why the design of the shoe is important to the health of the foot and the type of sport that is being pursued.
Excessive supination and pronation can cause a variety of ailments that can affect the ankle, knees, back, hips, or the foot itself. Some of the common symptoms include shin splints, arch or heel pain, corns and calluses, ankle sprains, knee pain, hip pain, Achilles tendonitis and back pain.
Therefore, trainers should be designed for specific sports activities as well as address any biomechanical problems that can occur over time.