Whitby Family Footcare Clinic

107-420 Green St. • Whitby, Ontario • L1N 8R1 905.668.8233

Running mechanics versus arch height of the foot

The running magazines usually recommend a cushion shoe for high arch feet,  a stability shoe or motion control shoe for low arch feet and a neutral shoe for the “normal arch,”

Some research studies have concluded it would be more appropriate to match footwear to the running mechanics of the patient rather than the arch height.

The most common method used by podiatrists is simply watching you run down the hall or sidewalk outside the office.

To aid in the  determination of your running mechanics our office uses a 4 camera gait analysis while you run on a tread mill.

We continued to be amazed by the differences in the mechanics of patients we observe walking in comparison to running.

  • Patients with no obvious pronation of the rearfoot during walking will suddenly pronate 6 to 8 degrees when they run.
  • Another patient may walk with significant pronation but may suddenly appear to have almost normal alignment when running.
  • A barefoot runner may appear normal and suddenly pronate severely in an over-cushioned shoe.

Watching a you run will not only show whether your current running shoe is appropriate, it can also determine what mechanical factors have led to the injury.

Finally, this evaluation will help determine the recommendation for a new shoe and helps to balance the cushioning versus stability requirements.