Shoes and knees - a cautionary tale

Well, going back to late last summer, things were going well, couple of parkruns under my belt and enjoying the running so thought I'd treat myself to some new shoes. Off to a local running shop (part of a chain) gait analysed, 100 quid handed over and off I went with shiny new shoes for over pronators. Shortly afterwards started to feel twinges in right knee but assumed it was just things getting used to new (and of course better ) shoes. Things deteriorated and went to physio at work, he couldn't find anything specific and suggested bursitis. Rest. Still no improvement so eventually went to gp. X-ray, mri and 2 bone scans later it transpires I have a cyst in my tibia (which is irrelevant to the pain) and nice healthy knees (as in the soft tissues) but oedema in the bone marrow at top of tibia, especially on the inside part - where the pain is. Off to specialist physio - turns out my left foot pronates but right foot supinates so shoes were opposite of what it needed, exacerbated my natural wonkiness and led to oedema (bruising) in the bone from it being bashed against femur at every step :-( .

On a slow road to recovery now and rock-taped like a parcel to start realigning muscles until I can build them up myself then may need some orthotics in a pair of neutral shoes. But not run properly for 8 months and missing it like crazy!

Feeling pretty miffed (not to mention stupid that I didn't go with my gut instinct when first twinges started).

So, be warned. Gait analysis def not necessarily all its cracked up to be and shops are there to make money!!


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7 Replies

  • Eek! Just seen tags! At least it's not that bad!

  • I've run for about 5 months without a gait analysis. But need new shoes and finally got it done this week. I was very relieved that I'm neutral as I haven't had any problems so far and that seemed to confirm my experience. I would have been wary of anything else. You do hear stories of shops trying to make money and you can do yourself a lot of damage. Good luck, hope things start to get better soon.

  • Yea I might agree jss..I've been running now for a good few months and feel confident my style is neutral.. passed up on an offer in sports sports shop today.. don't want the added pressure of enticement I to expensive new shoes.. unless of course there is discomfort unual after running..all should be well with whatever run running shoes we are using :)

  • Take it easy Barry, sounds very frustrating. Controversial, but have you read about barefoot running (and yes, you can get barefoot running shoes, as weird as that sounds).

  • I do like that idea yatesco and have been following the discussions about your Vibrams! But they are so damned expensive - and what do you do if your toes are unusual lengths? Mind you I think it makes sense, when we were running around in the African bush we were either barefoot or had some kind of flat sandal on.

  • Barefoot running shoes basically have no heel support. The ones I use have 'toe gloves' but you can get 'normal' style footwear which are indistinguishable from the rest. I think they are also called 'neutral' shoes as well.

  • To be fair, any expert can get it wrong for a particular individual and their financial incentive may be irrelevant. The first pair of shoes a shop fitted me with seemed fine in the shop... but in the real world, my knees knocked together! At the time, that chain had a returns policy that meant you could take them back all muddy for exchange and the ones they swapped them for were heavenly. I did have a gait analysis done but I had never run on a treadmill before and hope never to need to again... and I was after trail shoes for which gait analysis is irrelevant.

    I also feel it is asking a lot for one shoe to do everything unless you really do only run on one sort of surface.

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