Ask The PT: Are My Running Shoes Injuring Me?

Q. “I have been training for 6 months. I got my running form analyzed and have been using the Asics GT-2000 moderate stability shoe. I took a few weeks off after doing the Ragnar Relay SoCal in April.

GT 2000 mens

Ever since getting back to running, I have noticed my outer (lateral) shin muscles tense up all extreme, about 8 inches above the ankle. A fire-like feeling starts and will not subside for 20 minutes.

I stretch and hydrate well so I am not sure what’s going on. Both shins hurt, although the left is far worse and I can also feel it in my arches. Also, recently my outer knee — mainly the left, but both hurt — has a burning pain when I run.

Is this from having too much support in my shoe? When wearing a neutral shoe to walk around, I noticed that most of my knee pain subsided. Is the burning normal? Please help.

— Scott

A. It is possible to be “over-stabilized” in a shoe, but I’m not sure what was involved in the gait/running analysis.

GBRCNewton_GaitAnalysis_IMG_4342[1]

When a foot is in a supinated/inverted posture just prior to ground contact, a certain amount of “excess” pronation will occur to get the foot solidly on the ground. This is by no means dysfunctional pronation; and I see many runners that do this.

If you start to block this natural motion (yes, pronation is a necessary motion to allow for foot accommodation to the ground prior to lifting off), then problems can arise. These issues can show up anywhere along the outer/lateral leg, such as ITB syndrome, piriformis syndrome/tightness, or low back pain. Any of these conditions could be causing some undue nerve compression, which would explain that burning sensation you’re getting.

I don’t want to just blindly say go back to a neutral shoe, but that could be a first step to try. I’d recommend getting a more in depth running analysis and you should consider seeing a PT with this background.

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