Over pronation and motion control shoes


I came across an interesting article recently with yet more research into the role of running shoes in preventing injury.

It was done at Luxembourg Institute of Health in 2014 and reported in British Journal of Sports Medicine so is quite current. Participants for study were aged 18 to 65 and numbered 386 which makes for meaningful research. (Beware any study with just a few participants and yet big conclusions). Runners were assigned either neutral or motion control shoes for up to 6 months. 372 runners made the cut for final inclusion and completed 12,558 runs totaling 116723 km’s.

Here is the interesting stuff if you are a runner. Over all, 25% of the runners sustained an injury. That was made up of  32% from the neutral shoe group and 18% from the motion control group so at first glance some motion control seems to be a good idea to reduce injury prevalence. However when the data was really examined and related to foot type (over pronation vs neutral vs supination) researchers found that the motion control shoe really only benefited the runners with an over pronation foot type. The same group was more likely to be injured if in a less supportive neutral shoe.

The message? According to this study runners who do not overpronate are unlikely to get any injury prevention benefit from the additional features of a motion control shoe. Their feet naturally control motion just fine as it is. A motion control shoe does seem to offer injury prevention benefit to the over pronation group.

Details to consider? Would the benefits be sustained across all the different manufacturers, all brands and all models of motion control shoes? It’s likely some are better than others for the individual foot.

Have your foot evaluated by a physiotherapist to establish your foot type and then match that information to your shoe purchase decisions. West 4th physiotherapists Suzanne Foster, Jennifer Macpherson and Alison Heald have completed extra education in running injury prevention and would be the perfect first step in your running journey.

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