Stablize-me-not

Alicia stopped by our Lucky Road Willow Lawn store the other day. Her last ten pair of shoes were the same stability model. She was just looking for another pair of the same shoe to replace her last ones. After taking some time to get to know Alicia we were able to discover her injury history. Alicia had chronic discomfort around her knee. We also took the time to observe her running form with and without her orthotic. Turns out Alicia has a neutral gait cycle and her knee pain may be the result of overcorrection from the stability shoes she’s been wearing over the years.

In an effort to appear more technical, many running shoe stores will assess their customers while running on a treadmill and then video their feet from the rear. Unfortunately the rear angles involved create an optical illusion which make the runner appear to overpronate the shoe. About 70% of runners assessed from behind will end up buying stability shoes. In reality only 35% of runners actually need that kind of support. About half of all runner’s wearing stability shoes are being overcorrected, and Alicia was one of them. Once she was able to test run a few neutral models she noticed a difference in her knee pain. It was lessening. We think thats a good thing.

For over ten years now I’ve been making the case for “Frontal Plain Analysis.” Last fall two trade publications wrote articles on our methods and very recently, representatives from the Brooks Running shoe Company told me they’re biomechanics lab tech’s are now using Frontal Plain Analysis as their primary method of assessment. It’s nice to know that our efforts for improvement are making a difference.

~ Jeff Van Horn, Lucky Road

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