Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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DOR Podcast #80:
Mailbag: Super Shoes for Women, Morton's Neuroma and More

At the roundtable today Nate and Matt are joined for the first time by Doctors of Running Contributor, Megan Flynn to answer a variety of listener questions. How does body weight change the impact of super shoes, especially for women? What is Morton's neuroma and what should you look for in shoes to help you deal with it? How do stability shoes impact conditions like genu varum? Join us for answers to these questions and more.

Listen to This Week's Podcast Here!

Direct Links: Apple | Spotify | Anchor

0:00 - Introduction
3:58 - Meet DOR Contributor Megan Flynn
12:58 - The Subjective: what motivates you to keep running?
22:16 - What shoes might be good if you have Morton's neuroma?
39:22 - What shoe characteristics influence knee problems?
48:34 - Do mild stability shoes impact genu varum?
54:28 - Does a runner's weight impact their ability to maximize the benefit of supershoes, especially for women?
1:01:16 - Wrap-up

Hoka Arahi 6 features a 4 mm drop
Science Blog:
Why Do Running Shoes Have So Many Drops? (Reader Question!)
By Senior Contributor Nathan Brown

The biomechanical reason for a variety of heel drops now is that people are different. Some people have more calf muscle length or achilles tendon length than others. Thus heel drop will either stress or unload that area. 

It is not a question of whether shoes should have drop, but rather how should each runner find an amount that works for them. If you have a physical therapist or medical professional that assesses your calf length, then you may be able to get a better idea of how much drop might work best for you. What also works is trying different shoes and seeing what feels more comfortable/correct for your own unique mechanics. Comfort is key, so if you find something that you can run in comfortably, then there is probably a good chance that it is a good choice for you.  We do however encourage people to have a little variety in their lives. While extremes may not always be the best, having a little variation in the drop of your shoes is a good thing. It will expose your body to slightly different forces, which is almost like cross training in a way. It shifts where forces go, thus giving time for tissue to adequately recover and heal. 

So like many things, how much drop in a shoe someone needs is totally dependent on the runner. Their experience, calf strength, calf length, personal preference and more. If you are interested in an in-depth analysis, find a physical therapist near you. You can also go to your local running store and try on a couple different shoes and see which one is most comfortable. Do not be afraid to experiment, but remember that comfort is one of the most important factors.

Thanks for Listening!
Find all of our past podcasts in our archive here.

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