For any runner, running is a repetitive impact sport that can send a shock through the body every time the foot strikes the ground, so running shoes with the ability to absorb the impact are critical. For heavy runners, this is doubly important, as their size places even more stress on their joints.
There are two foot conditions that are typical among heavy runners, and the right shoe can help address both.
- First, heavy runners typically have less arch to their feet. This can lead to knee and ankle pain, because a flattened foot has a tendency to turn inward, misaligning the legs.
- The second condition, which goes often goes hand-in-hand with the first, is that heavy runners tend to overpronate. Pronation is an inward roll of the foot, from the heel to the big toe, that occurs when we walk or run. It is a natural occurrence, and is the body’s way of absorbing shock. However, overpronation (also called hyperpronation) occurs when there is too much roll, and again can lead to lower body injuries.
To tell if you overpronate, examine a pair of shoes, either existing running shoes or those you wear on a daily basis. If the heels are worn evenly, most likely you don’t have a pronation problem. However, if the heels turn inward and the soles are worn primarily on the inside, you may be an overpronator.
Shoe makers have recognized that this is a common problem, and there are a great many running shoes on the market that will allow you to run pain-free. If you fall into this category, consider motional control or stability shoes, which are built to restrict overpronation and provide overall stability.
Shoes to consider if you have low arches and overpronate (roll the ankle inwards)
Shoes to consider if you have normal to high arches.