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Best Running Shoes to Use with Orthotics

by Marybeth

I used to run regularly several years problem with shoes...had them fit by specialty running store.

However, after a work-related injury a few years ago, my running has been put on hold and as part of my physical therapy I was fitted with orthotics due to overpronation.

The physical therapist who specializes in working with athletes and those very involved in sports recently had new orthotics made with what he said gives greater control to the motion of my foot.

The best shoe I had found to start walking and small increments of jogging training with the previous orthotics were the Saucony Triumph.

Since the new orthotics, and increasing my training routine to walking more times a week and adding interval traning to two of my three walking sessions, I have had several issues --- most recently pain on the top of my foot (not behind toes) but further up and in line with big toe.

The physical therapist resolved the issue of initial metatrsal pain behind my toes on the top of the foot to the orthotic curling up in the shoe and trimmed both sides. That eliminted that pain. However, the pain I just described is still there. I spoke with him and he said to give this some time to go away--however, I want to find out if perhaps this is due to needing a different shoe as he had also said previously that the metatarsal pain would only be present if the cause was still present. Since that pain has gone immediately with that correction of my orthotic for that foot (the left one), I thought all the pain would leave based on what he said.

On my left foot, I have two toe fractures from previous accidents (the big toe -- which in the past never affected my running and walking even before having orthotics) and more recently the middle toe (a hairline fracture from a few years ago a year prior to the work related injury referred to earlier).

My question is what is the best running shoe to use with orthotics as I am wondering with the change in my orthotics if the Saucony that I have loved so much is perhaps no longer the right shoe. My physical therapist and the run coach both feel it is fine.

Physical therapist has always stated with the orthotics I need a neutral shoe with light stability and shock absorbtion, but not too cushiony to lose stability. Running Shoe store owners state that there is no such thing as neutral shoe and light stability together. Phys. Ther. understands this and acknowledges this as true so I have gone with neutral and shock absorbtion. Saucony Triumph has been the best thusfar because I also need a good sized toe box because of the orthotics. I am wondering with the change of my orthotics to control more motion of my foot if perhaps the shoe that has worked before (the saucony triumph) with the previous orthotics with control but not as much of the motion of my foot may not be the best shoe anymore.

Is there a better neutral shoe (with light stability) and shock absorption (but not too cushiony to lose stability) for an orthotic that now has more control of motion to my foot? Please advise.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your question about running shoes and your elaborate story.

Have you read Born to Run? After having read that book I am not sure what to believe anymore the running shoe industry dishes up.

Finding the best running shoes is so easy for most, but so complex for some! Especially when orthotics get involved it becomes very, very hard to advise anything as the exact shape and feel of the orthotics would play a part in the decision of what running shoe to choose.

I would really recommend going to the specialized running store again and get the experts to have a good look at this while explaining your situation. You can then together work out what shoe is best for your feet with these orthotics.

Having said that, as I understand, there is currently some pain on the top of your foot, away from the toebox. This is likely to be caused by the orthotics pushing your foot up. One little trick you can do to alleviate pressure on the top of your foot is to lace your shoes differently. At the point of pain, do not cross your laces, but just put them straight up. Do this for two rows, then cross them again the rest of the way.

This could just do the trick with alleviating the pressure of the top of your foot and save you the US$100 - $200 for new running shoes. See if that works for you, if not, the specialty running store is the way to go I guess.

Kind regards,

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