Lower Limb Overuse, Shin Splint and Achillis Tendonitis KawanaJuly 7, 2010
One of the primary reasons for lower limb overuse injuries such as ‘shin splints’ or achillis tendonitis is incorrect footwear. There are 4 main features of shoes that you need to be aware of when purchasing shoes.
1. Heel Cup – a good pair of running shoes have a firm heel cup to hold the heel in its optimal position at heel strike. Simply grip heel at back of shoe to gauge support. These cups are biased according to the ideal posture for the foot.
2.The twist flexibility of the shoes is important to either maintain support or alter flexibility where required. Hold shoe longitudinally and apply a rotary twist. Notice where the movement is occurring. In simple terms, for a mobile foot the shoes should have little movement through the mid foot (these shoes will often have a dual density soul or extra support bars), for a rigid supinator foot more movement is desired.
3. Cushioning of the soul is important to provide both shock absorption and support. Notice the depth and ‘squeeze ability’ of the EVA material that makes up the soul. For a stiff high arch you would like plenty of cushioning and an easy squeeze feel but for a mobile, excessively pronating foot you should look for more support, often from dual density materials.
4. Other features of shoes are often variations of these above features. It is important to remember no one brand has one shoe that will suit every foot. You should look at shoe structures and remember they must feel comfortable to you to wear.
Also remember some high profile brands will change the factories the shoes are produced at annually and consequently the features of the shoes can change year by year.
At Sportscare we provide a service to assess the suitability of shoes for you. Most retailers are supportive of this and will allow you to return or exchange unsuitable footwear. Check with the store and then make an appointment with us.
Download Achillis Tendonitis information here.