You can learn much about yourself by looking at the bottom of your favorite pair of shoes. Everyone has different feet and runs a certain way, which may affect how much wear and tear they put on their kicks. If you are an avid runner, the wear on your shoes can be even more evident and lead to potential injury. Understanding the different wear patterns on a shoe alert you when you aren’t getting the appropriate support for your favorite activities.
If you notice that your shoes are wearing down along the outer edges, you’re a part of the rare pool of folks who are under-pronating/supinating. A small fraction of around five percent of the population runs in this fashion, potentially leading to stress fractures and joint injuries in your legs and feet.
The lateral wear implies that you’re not getting any shock absorption when your feet hit a surface. Without effective cushioning, it’s as if you’re kicking a concrete slab with a thin layer of protection. Also, wearing running shoes while playing sports that aren’t conducive to lateral movement will worsen matters.
You can cater to your unfortunate wear pattern in some ways, such as by adding an arch support insole. The insole will disperse the impact of each step, spreading the shock throughout the foot rather than in one area. Furthermore, deeper heel cups can reduce the blow your heel bone takes when you are on the run.
The opposite of lateral wear is medial wear, considering it happens on the inward portion of your shoe. Overpronation is the root cause of medial wear, leading to serious concerns for plantar fasciitis, a collapsing arch, and various ankle, hip, and knee injuries.
An athlete who is overpronating requires motion-controlled shoes. These specialized shoes aid in weight transfer with a firmer midsole. Combining motion-control shoes with good arch support could eliminate the aches and pains athletes feel after training because they’ll correct your body alignment.
Did you ever feel like a golf ball is underneath your shoe? If so, then your shoe more than likely has neutral wear. This type of wear pattern happens in the forefoot area and the ball of the outsole. The good news about neutral wear is that your running stride is energy efficient.
You don’t need to overhaul your running style or shoes all that much if you have neutral wear. Stability shoes are the best for neutral wear because they provide slight cushioning and medial support.
Understanding the different wear patterns will help protect your foot from taking any unnecessary blows. When your feet aren’t cooperating, doing any activity without agonizing pain can be a tall task.