Do you think I need to replace my shoes?

These shoes appear to be well past their prime, to say the very least ! These poor dogs have the rear and forefoot varus “worn” right into them. You can see this represented particularly easily from the front, look at the lateral sloping of the shoe. It almost appears as if his foot could slide off the outside edge of the shoe. One can easily postulate that an inversion ankle sprain is just one unfortunate step away.

It looks like this medially posted shoe is not working for this fellow (you can see the medial post on the inner edge of the EVA midsole if you look carefully)  If you have questions on the “flare”?/post click here) . The client told us that they are “only a few years old” and planned on running one more ½ marathon in them this spring! Of course we mentioned they should put a office visit on the books the day after that race, because their ankles and knees were likely going to need it !

One can only imagine the lateral (genu varum) forces being placed on the knees, and who knows what kinds of increased shear forces are imparted into the menisci.  The lateral (inversion / varus) forces are going to impart a tendency of external rotation into the hips, and if one is busy externally rotating they are not going to internally rotate the hips when it is necessary to as the pelvis passes over the foot in midstance.  Additionally, an inverted /varus postured foot is more rigid because it is supinated which makes for a poor pronation/shock absorbing foot during the accomodative phase of the stance phase.

There are many more issues we could discuss here. But this was never meant to turn into a diatribe on specific biomechanical flaws, not this time at least.  Just remember this, whatever biomechanical flaws your feet have (and most of us have them) will eventually be pressed into the EVA foam of your shoes. Meaning, in time your shoes will reflect your aberrant flaws biomechanically.  And these newly built-into-the-shoe problems will now magnify the foot’s challenges and can accelerate pathology locally and globally.  Change your shoes often and as we have suggested in older blog posts, please consider having 2 shoes in your regular rotation.  One shoe being older and one being newer. We suggest starting an new shoe into the rotation once the old shoe has 200-250 miles and then alternating shoes every other day.  This way the foot is never seeing an older more deformed shoe for more than a day before getting some correction.  The point here, don’t let a shoe get 400-500 miles on it, in all its deformed glory, and then suddenly force the foot into a sudden biomechanical correction with a brand new shoe.  Abrupt changes lead to abrupt biomechanical demands on the system, so limit them and limit your risk for injury.

PS: Note the nice after-market “venting feature” in the right shoe near the little toe.

What some folks will try to do to save a few bucks…

Ivo and Shawn, The Gait Guys