If the Shoe Fits!
Knee pain is one of the most common complaints I get from women who have just joined my boot camp, and it’s one of the biggest deterrents to exercise in general. While there are many reasons as to why this happens, poorly fitting footwear is one one the main reasons.
There are three main foot types: normal, under pronaters, and over pronaters, and it is very easy for you to figure out which type you are. The next time you take a shower, look at your wet footprint on the floor and compare it to the ones below:
If you under or over pronate you place more pressure on the inside or outside of your foot than your should when you walk or run. This in turn can cause pressure in your ankle, knee, or hip that shouldn’t be there and can cause slight to severe pain.
The best thing you can do to insure a proper shoe fit is go to a running store with a knowledgeable staff and have them fit you for a shoe. It will cost you a little more upfront, but you’ll save yourself a lot of pain and frustration. Once you find a shoe you like, stick with that model and make sure you replace it when it begins to wear out. Shoes usually last anywhere from 250-300 miles, so that can be anywhere from 3-12 months, depending on how active you are.
I under pronate, and last year I was getting a super sharp pain on the outside of my left knee when I ran for more than 3 miles. It was so intense that I could barely walk/hobble my way home after it struck. I went to a small specialty running store here in Honolulu where the sales rep really spent some time with me and made me try on what felt like every under pronater shoe in the store. I trained for and ran a marathon in those shoes without one little knee twinge! It was amazing! Your footwear really can make or break your training!