Whichever way you celebrate the end of your beloved couple kicking, before you throw them away, donate them or store them in an inaccessible closet, you should take a few minutes to examine the soles: The ways you wear them can really give you some valuable insight into your gait.
“Dress patterns alert us to certain gait patterns and tell us where certain joints are when you come in contact with the ground and when you push,” explains Jacqueline Prevete, DPM, certified surgeon. podiatrist and the same runner (with an impressive personal marathon record of 2:58).
As you walk or run, the friction and pressure between the sole of the shoe and the ground compresses and erodes part of the outsole material, shaving it. Thus, the wear pattern essentially tells you which areas of your shoes retain the most reaction force on the ground when your foot comes in contact with the ground, whether you are running, walking or hiking.
In other words, they are almost like windows to how balanced your gait is and can be helpful in identifying possible problems with your gait. “[You] “he can see if there is an asymmetry by comparing one side with the other,” says Dr. Something that could warn you of certain patterns that could eventually lead to injury.
What can your old walking shoes tell you?
Wear on the inside edge of the sole
Dr. Prevete says that excessive wear on the inside, or middle, end of a shoe means that your foot is in contact with the ground in a more prone position. Pronation is when your feet roll inward at the ankle and your arch collapses into a flattened position.
“While pronation helps the foot absorb vibrations and helps with uneven surfaces, an overly pronated foot can cause problems throughout the body by carrying the impact to the legs, knees, hips and spine,” Yolanda Ragland, DPM, Founder and CEO of Fix Your Feet, Inc., had previously told Well + Good.
Wear it on the outer edge of the sole
According to Dr. Prevete, the wear of the heel on the outer extremity indicates supination of the ankle joint, which is the joint in the foot just below the ankle.
“Usually, wear on the outer limb is considered expected, as you will usually have to lie on your back during a heel injury.”[it’s] the ideal position for the ankle joint “, he explains. “As your foot stays in contact with the ground, you begin to tap a little to help absorb the ground’s reactive force. “Your foot should then return to a more supine position when you are ready to move forward.”
Dr. Prevete says that this whole cycle happens in a few milliseconds, which is why detailed gait analyzes are judged to be slow.
Wear on the heel
Wear on the outside of an old sneaker’s heel is to be expected, unless it is extreme, which may indicate an overly impressive heel if you are running. Landing more in the middle of your foot is generally considered ideal.
Dr. Prevete says that if the wear is more concentrated on the heel, it may indicate that your foot is collapsing into excessive pronation when you land.
Wear one shoe more than the other
It is also helpful to compare right and left shoes because our bodies are not necessarily symmetrical. The way you land and push on your left foot may be different from the way you land and push on your right foot.
Dr. Prevete says differences in wear between your two sneakers usually indicate a biomechanical difference in the way one foot works compared to the other. “It can also show some muscle imbalances,” he says. These can be determined by your doctor or physiotherapist – and can help you target any weaknesses or deficits during your gait cycle.
So what can you do with this information?
According to Dr. Prevete, the best thing to do if you notice a noticeable wear pattern on your old sneakers is to analyze your jogging or walking shape. “This can be done on a treadmill by shooting a video from all angles, which can be slowed down to see where the foot is in contact with the ground, the waist and the push,” says Dr. Prevete. “In addition, the position of the hip and knee is also assessed during these gait tests to determine muscle weakness above the level of the foot and ankle that may contribute to pain or symptoms when running.”
This type of in-depth gait analysis requires a professional trained in evaluating how you run or walk and what actually happens when you put one foot in front of the other. You can go to a physiotherapist or to some specialized treadmills that have been set up with treadmill and camera or iPad. Bring your old sneakers with you to take a look at your patterns as well.
It is important to note, however, that running gait is significantly different from gait, so if you walk and run in the same sneakers, you will not be able to get a clear picture of the biomechanical problems or gait abnormalities with either. This is just one of the many reasons that most exercise professionals recommend wearing separate running and walking sneakers.
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