General Discussion Triathlon Talk » stability sneakers as harmful to body Rss Feed  
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2017-05-12 11:15 AM

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Subject: stability sneakers as harmful to body
I know that this is a debate that has gone on for decades. I've heard of it on and off but just read Born to Run.

Any positive sneaker stories? My teenage son is very into lifting weights and running to stay in shape. I just encouraged him to go to the specialty sneaker store with me where they taped him running and found him to be a pronator and got him into a pair of stability shoes. Now I'm feeling remorse. Did I just do something terrible to him? Was he just fine and now he'll get injuries due to the shoes? Am I overthinking this? I'm really worried.

Edited by MuscleMomma 2017-05-12 11:16 AM


2017-05-12 1:06 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: stability sneakers as harmful to body
I am no expert and of course represent only a single data point (i.e. myself.) I went through the taping/assessment process at my LRS almost 8 years ago. Although I was pretty much right on the border of needing that type of support shoe (and only based on one leg at that), I went with a stability model anyway. I have trained a reasonable volume for my age (mid 50s) and done multiple 13.1s, six 26.2s, three 70.3s and two 140.6s, all with the stability shoes. No injuries. I loved reading Born to Run, but I suspect your son has a much higher chance of getting injured running bare foot or in Vibrams than in a stability shoe. Keep in mind that asking medical advice from folks on a running forum is fun, but asking advice from a medical professional is typically wiser. IMHO you should try to find a doctor (or maybe a PT) that runs and treats runners and listen to her/his advice. Good luck!
2017-05-12 1:16 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: stability sneakers as harmful to body
Yeah... I think you're overthinking it a bit. Born to Run is a good read, but it's not the end-all-be-all. And yes, I've done a far amount of barefoot road running(paved trails). And many, many miles of beach running barefoot. But I wouldn't trade my Zante's for the world.

If it's a quality running store, and they show your son is pronating, then yes...a motion control shoe will probably work for him.

Really, he's the one who will ultimately decide. Does the shoe fit well? Is it comfortable? And most importantly - is he getting nagging injuries within a couple weeks of running in the shoes. I'm guessing he won't. That's not to say it might take a bit for him to get used to the shoe. Maybe feel a little differnt in the shins, ankles or calves.

I coach high school cross country and track and the biggest issue we have with the kids is worn out shoes. Now, we will do a lot of barefoot strides on turf, but that's just to get the proper running form dialed in. The rest of the time our runners wear a good quality shoe and we typically keep injuries to a minimum.

--
Dave
2017-05-12 5:26 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: stability sneakers as harmful to body
Not really a positive sneaker story, but 37 years of running...

I doubt it, though the shoes may well not be necessary. Most people at running stores do not have medical training or formal qualifications in coaching or biomechanics. It's also quite possible that some tend to spot "problems" (which may just be someone's natural stride) and push them into stability shoes because those tend to be more expensive models. I'm had this issue with a lot of those places. I've always been a supinator (I think that's what it's called)--my feet turn slightly inward and I look a little knock-kneed when I run. More obvious at the end of a long race. I had some foot issues in college (plantar fasciitis), was told it was because of this and "flat feet", and was pushed into orthotics. They did absolutely nothing to solve the problem (which eventually went away with a combo of deep tissue massage and stretching) and caused horrible issues with blisters on long runs. I eventually just stopped wearing them and haven't had any foot problems since then.

Several years ago I went to a running store in Singapore and they insisted on watching customers run on the treadmill before selling shoes. I was told I had "weak ankles" (even though I have never had any ankle or Achilles issues in 37 years of running!) and that I needed stability shoes. Gave them a try and really regretted it. They seemed too heavy and stiff, and made my hamstrings and lower back chronically sore and tight. So I went back to the same neutral, fairly lightweight Saucony models that have always worked for me. I have been running longer than most of those kids in running stores have been alive. At this point, unless someone with a sports medicine qualification recommends a shoe or insert for an actual problem I am having, I am going to go with what feels right. The stability shoes may work fine for your son. I gave my stability shoes to a colleague and she loved them.

I think in my case they don't work, because I am very lightweight and they tend to be too inflexible for someone my size. But I doubt you have done him any terrible harm either by getting him the shoes, or not getting him the shoes. As for "Born to Run", I think one has to take it with a grain of salt. The Indian tribes they base their ideas on grew up mainly without shoes, living a life with huge amounts of physical activity. Their foot and leg muscles are developed from childhood in a way that most of ours are not. Barefoot running may work for some people, but I really doubt it's the panacea it's made out to be. In any case, if your son's not comfortable with the new shoes, then I'd encourage him to find a neutral model. If they feel good, no need to waste a good pair of shoes. The kind of muscle development I mentioned happens over years, starting in early childhood. He's not going to miss it because of having a pair of stability shoes as a teen.
2017-05-12 6:50 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: stability sneakers as harmful to body
He said they feel good, he actually picked the same stability sneakers I wear (didn't want to ruin them for him by pointing that out). His pains are more weight lifting related, he hasn't mentioned the sneaks except to say "great" when I asked him how the sneakers were - he's a boy of few words.

Just worried when I think that he was fine and I pushed getting new sneaks. But then I'm a worrier.
2017-06-02 1:42 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: stability sneakers as harmful to body
I was having nagging running injuries and went into a reputable running store after initially reading this forum about ten years ago. The store directed me to stability running shoes and I have been in them since with no running related injuries. I haven't read the book you are referring to, but going to stability shoes helped me tremendously....key word being me. Every body is different and they respond to different types of shoes differently. Pick what works for YOU or your son and be done. Only you know what's best for you.


2017-06-02 1:54 PM
in reply to: Max_O

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Subject: RE: stability sneakers as harmful to body

Seems to be a trial and error thing to get it right.  Even when a model just changes year to year it can throw off the fit from "good" to "bad."

I've run in all manner of shoes (well, almost all manner - haven't tried the Vibram foot-glove things).  What I notice more is that I start to hurt when they get worn out, when doing high mileage in low cushion shoes or any time I run in Newtons (which I still do, cuz they just feel so dang fast!).  I like a light, responsive shoe, but I no longer run longer training runs in them, as my feet/knees/hips notice the difference.  So, I've mixed in support and cushy shoes for my LSD, light and responsive ones for track or interval work, and in between ones for in between (selecting race shoes, I usually go one level "up" in performance for the distance and also might consider how they do sockless for me if it's a tri at Oly or Sprint distance).

As you can tell from the above, it really varies for a person and likely more from person to person!  Other folks have likely had success with a very different strategy than where I've ended up.

All in, I wouldn't worry too much, as long as they're comfortable during and after the run and aren't getting worn out.

Matt

2017-06-05 11:05 AM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Subject: RE: stability sneakers as harmful to body

I can get caught up in logical sounding hype. So far no pain in the stability shoes, so I'm sticking with them. Assume I'll hear from my son if things start to hurt.
Thanks.
2017-06-05 4:16 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: stability sneakers as harmful to body

It's funny but... I have been wondering if this has caused me trouble.

I was "diagnosed" with an overpronation issue last summer and was suggested to try a stability shoe, but since I was training for my first marathon and doing fine (as far as I knew) I waited until this winter.  It took some getting used to, including discomfort in the "bad" leg, but I got used to it.  I had a slight niggle of knee pain in the "bad" leg that actually disappeared.  That was the main part they wanted to fix - the affect on my knee.    I also paid for a fancy session at a very reputable sports clinic and the PT agreed the shoes looked good. 

This spring I trained for and "raced" a 10 mile road race and 11 mile trail race.   Then I did a 10 mile road race (feeling pretty good about my early Spring!) and ended up with a wicked case of plantar fasciitis.  This has been troubling me since late April.  I definitely blame myself partly for not stretching enough after the race. 

Since then, in addition to the usual rehab, I have been back to the running store as well because the PF feels different than in the past and my foot just hurts.  They looked at my shoes and felt the stability was NOT needed for me.  If I hadn't told them about the PT session, and just walked in blind, they would have stuck with a neutral shoe for me.  Um, okay...

I finally decided yesterday to order a fresh pair of the old neutral shoes that served me well enough over the years.  I am hoping for a miracle!

2017-06-05 9:30 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: stability sneakers as harmful to body
come back and let us know how you are doing. Will be interesting to hear.
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