If you have a persistent running injury that is affecting your feet or lower legs, then your podiatrist may ask you to bring your running shoes along to an appointment. Foot and leg problems that won't go away may be caused by biomechanical issues. While your podiatrist may be able to fix your problem, it may come back if the factors that caused your injury remain the same. What can your running shoes tell your podiatrist about your problems?
What Kind of Running Shoes Are You Wearing?
Although running shoes are designed for running in, not all shoe types suit all runners. People have different gaits, postures, body sizes and foot mechanics. If you don't find the right kind of shoes for your feet, then your feet and legs may suffer.
Your podiatrist can take a look at your running shoes and check that they are the right design for your needs. If your shoes are at the root of your podiatry problem or are making it worse, you can get advice on how to choose more appropriate shoes in the future. This may well aid your long-term recovery and allow you to run without pain or injury.
How Worn Are Your Shoes?
As well as checking that you're wearing appropriate running shoes, your podiatrist can also use your shoes to learn more about your feet and running habits. This may help your podiatrist diagnose the cause of your ongoing problem and put it right.
For example, the wear on your running shoes shows your podiatrist how you strike the ground when you run. A lot of wear in certain areas and less in others gives your podiatrist clues about your strike pattern that may also back up any conclusions they've reached from examining you. Again, excessive wear or wear in unusual patterns may mean that you're wearing incorrect running shoes that don't provide the right support for your feet, in which case your podiatrist can recommend other types. In some cases, your shoes can help your podiatrist decide on the best course of treatment by confirming where the problem lies.
For some people, a switch in running shoes may be all they need to finally tackle a long-term injury problem. In some cases, your podiatrist may recommend a course of treatment or exercises to help strengthen weak areas in your feet and legs. Alternatively, you may be advised to wear orthotic devices when you run to give your feet an extra level of support.