Can New Running Shoes Stop Knee Pain?
One of the biggest problems that runners face is knee pain. Inflammation and tenderness around the kneecap can be caused by many of factors, including over-training, faulty running patterns, muscle imbalances and running in the wrong shoes. Of these issues, improper shoes is the easiest to fix. Running in the wrong type of shoe for your frame and gait can lead to injury and pain, especially for the knees.
Needs of Neutral Runners
From heel strike to foot propulsion, runners with a neutral stride maintain balance through every stride, preventing misalignment that can place undue stress on different muscles. Light-weight runners with a neutral stride don't need a lot support and cushioning; a simple, neutral running shoe is the best. In fact, a bulky shoe with unnecessary stability and cushion could actually cause knee pain by unnaturally altering the runner's stride -- in this case, swapping shoes may alleviate pain.
Runners With Pronation Problems
Pronation occurs when the ankle rolls inward or outward while running. If you pronate, it's important to know whether you over or underpronate. Overpronators roll their feet inward after the their heels hits the ground, while underpronators roll outward. You can purchase shoes designed to help correct excessive pronation, which may help alleviate knee pain caused from such stride imbalances.
Jessica Bell has been working in the health and fitness industry since 2002. She has served as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Bell holds an M.A. in communications and a B.A. in English.