Supportive Vs. Minimalist Shoe Gear- What's Better?

A very common question we get from patients is, "What types of shoes should I wear?"  The answer is somewhat complicated.  Shoes have classically been made in categories for 3 types of feet- over-pronator, neutral, and over-supinator.  Your type of foot type then can drive what shoes you should wear.  More recently, minimalist shoe gear and barefoot running have become more popular.  Many patients are unsure if they should use minimalist shoes.

One of the primary reasons people use minimalist shoes is that they are trying to strengthen the intrinsic muscles in their feet.  This can be a good idea for high-level athletes with a neutral foot structure.  However, for most people, using footwear like this, especially when exercising, can lead to overuse injuries such as tendinitis and stress fractures.  Many people we see can benefit from exercising in a neutral shoe with a custom orthotic to help prevent injury.

Another common mistake we see people make is using a custom orthotic in a non-neutral shoe.  If you place a custom orthotic in a over-pronator or over-supinator shoe, you may be over correcting your foot and making yourself more prone to injury.  If you have quesitons about your feet or ankles, please call our office at 719-488-4664 so we can help you!

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