The impact of fashion has hit the world of women's running shoes over the last several years. However, you cannot choose your running shoes based on the latest fashion trend. If you’re a serious runner, you have to take proper care of your feet and this means having the proper running shoe. Without good running shoes, you could cause permanent and painful injuries to your feet and legs.
Do women run differently than men?
Women runners face different issues than men do and their running shoes need to reflect this. A woman's foot hits the ground at a much shallower angle than a man’s does. Their feet also tend to be more splayed. When a woman's foot hits the ground, it points forward at a 12-degree angle.
Men's feet hit the ground pointing with a range between a one to 10-degree angle. Because of this difference, men’s running shoes will differ from women's in the construction of the heel’s bevel. Women's shoes are more rotated to compensate for the difference in the landing of their feet.
Mitigating pronation with proper shoe
When searching for that perfect pair of running shoes, the most important thing to consider is your body’s mechanics, primarily the strength and flexibility of certain muscles. This will define how much your foot rolls toward the middle of your body while you are running, which is referred to as pronation. If you are unsure what your pronation is, many running shoe stores can determine what is it in the store by filming you running on a treadmill.
Over-pronation occurs when the outside of the heel first makes contact with the ground. People with flat feet often have this particular pronation problem. The foot rolls inward more than the ideal 15 percent. This causes lack of stabilization can cause problems with your feet and ankles because the shock is not properly absorbed.
Under-pronation or supination often occurs in people who have high arches and tight Achilles tendons. A sure sign of this is that your shoes will wear on the outer edge and the shoe will stretch out more on that side.
Conditions that can develop from pronation problems
Shin splints are caused by stress to the front lower legs. This inflammatory condition causes pain during strenuous activities as the muscle fibers tear away from the shinbones. Having a high arch can also increase the risk of shin splints. There is no specific shoe that will prevent shin splints from occurring, but there are shoes that can help reduce the risk. Choose shoes that provide extra stability versus extra cushioning to help prevent shin splints.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. The plantar fascia is the flat band of ligaments connecting your heel to your toes and supports your arch. When this ligament gets strained, it will weaken, swell and cause a lot of pain when walking or running. This injury is caused by excessive pronation. Without proper running shoes, you may be at high risk of tearing your plantar fasciitis.
Top-rated running shoes for women
If you have a tendency toward overpronation, you’ll need to have motion control running shoes, such as the:
If you have a tendency toward underpronation or supination, you’ll want to choose either a more flexible shoe, such as the:
What other issues do women runners suffer from?
Women runners can suffer from various ailments that can be caused or aggravated from not wearing the proper running shoe. One of the most commons problems is runner’s knee, which often occurs from overuse. This happens when your kneecap is out of alignment.
If not addressed, runner’s knee could lead to knee pain from patello-femoral syndrome. This is when the underside of kneecap rubs against the bottom of the thighbone. Improper shoes could also lead to iliotibial band syndrome where this ligament that runs from your hip to your shin becomes inflamed and interferes with the stabilization of the knee. The New Balance Leadville 1210 is designed specifically for trail runners with knee or lower leg issues and provides stability and the cushioning they need.
Don’t get sucked in by some of the latest designer brands of running shoes. Save the sparkly designer shoes for a night out on the town. Stick to running shoes that will address your specific needs to prevent aggravating any existing issues you may have or causing new injuries that’ll keep you sidelined from running.