Friday, February 22, 2013

What are Stability Running Shoes and What Benefits Do They Offer?

Running is an excellent weight-bearing (read osteoporosis-fighter) and can also serve as a great way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight during menopause, but you need to do it safely. Finding the right motion control/stability running shoe for your foot type increases your comfort level during a run and reduces the chance of injury.

If you are looking for motion control and stability running shoes, you need to know what features make a good stability and motion control running shoe. Each runner has a unique gait, foot type, or manner of running, and the right stability shoe is as a unique as each runner’s gait. Wearing the right shoe for your gait can help to improve your performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Running shoes with a mid-sole plate for controlling overpronation are commonly referred to as motion control running shoes. Stability shoes fall into the broader category of motion control running shoes. Almost all shoes offer some degree of stability, ranging from very little for underpronators to maximum for overpronators. The amount of stability the running shoes provide refers to how much support the shoes provide.

Determine Foot Pronation

According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM), flat-footed, severe overpronators, and heavy runners will benefit from maximum stability. Most runners, those with medium or normal arches as determined by the wet test, need moderate or mild stability, while high-arched underpronators and light, efficient runners can use neutral stability running shoes.

To determine your foot type using the wet test, wet your foot and then step on a piece of paper. The shape made by the base of a normal foot will resemble a fried chicken drumstick. The shape of a flat, or overpronating foot will resemble a long oval. The base of a high-arched or underpronating foot will make two tear-drop shaped marks.

While many companies are producing high quality running shoes, the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends some stability shoes as being among the best for minimizing overpronation yet providing a level of flexibility and cushioning.

While trying on different models of stability and motion control running shoes is the only way to find out which shoe actually feels best on your feet, this partial list of running shoes for each level of stability will give you a place to start your search. A more detailed list is available on the AAPSM website.

No comments:

Post a Comment