Choosing the Right Road Running Shoes to Prevent Injury

Putting on a new pair of road running shoes can make any runner feel ready for the open road. New running shoes can make any runner feel invincible, but this is where the risk of injury comes into play. Running shoes brands are always exclaiming that their shoe design has ended the risk of injury for runners – but how do we know that these claims to be fact?

If a road running shoe could prevent all injuries, every runner would wear them – it’s as simple as that. But the fact is that running injuries are a massive problem in the athletic space, and no single shoe has the ability to prevent injury for every runner that wears it. 

It’s important to remember that all feet are different, all bodies are different and all runners are different and this is why no single design will prevent injury for all runners. However, there are things that need to be taken into consideration when selecting the right road running shoe for you.

Below, we take a look at the ins and outs of running shoes and how you can select the right toad running shoes to prevent injury.

Road Running Shoe Design to Prevent Injury

Of course, there is no magic formula to creating a shoe that prevents all injuries; however, there are aspects of shoe design that can help runners reduce their injury risk.

Heel-Toe Drop is an important element of road running shoe design. How much higher the heel of your road running shoe is than the forefoot will certainly affect the way that force moves through your legs. With this in mind, shoes with a higher drop (from 8 – 12mm) will move impact force through to the knees and hips, taking impact force off your achilles, ankles and feet. This is a positive thing, especially if you suffer with painful calves. However, if you struggle with your knees, then shoes with greater drop will redirect the force and pressure to where you are able to handle it. Shoes with a lower drop, from 0 mm – 6mm, will move impact force away from the knees and hips and through to the feet, calves, achilles and ankles. 

Comfort also plays an important role when it comes to choosing the right road running shoes to prevent injury. If your road running shoes are uncomfortable and hurt you, then you have a greater chance at injury. This may seem logical but many runners make this mistake and believe they will adjust to the shoe in time. Always remember that when your body tells you that something is uncomfortable, it’s time to try something else. If a shoe feels comfortable when you try it on, your body is probably telling you that the shoes feels familiar and matches your movement pattern – which means that the shoe is right for you and your body – helping you tolerate training in a pain free manner. 

So, how do you pick the right road running shoe to reduce your risk of injury?

Begin by asking yourself where you usually experience pain from running. If you feel the pain in your knee or above your knee, consider shoes with a lower drop. If you struggle with pain below the knee, then look at shoes with more of an offset. 

Make sure to try on options and select the shoe that feels the most comfortable. Don’t base your shoe selection on style or brand – choose the right shoe based on what works best for you and your body. 

Preventing Road Running Injury

Shoes play a vital role in the prevention of running injury, whether road running shoes ortrail running shoes, however they are not the only way to prevent injury. Make sure to consider your training load as too much too soon is often the cause of road running injury. Remember to reduce your mileage if your body is feeling stressed and don’t try to bring your mileage up too quickly. 

Strength training is also an important part of road running injury prevention. Never neglect your resistance or weight work because it has the power to reduce injury rates in athletes.