Shopping for athletic shoes can be an overwhelming experience, with rows and rows of different, colorful pairs lining store shelves.

Fortunately, shoes today are designed with form and function in mind, and there is a plethora of options to meet your individual needs. Unfortunately, not buying the right shoe for the right activity can sometimes do more harm than good, especially when you’re trying to support a sensitive area. Can something like walking in running shoes contribute to poor knee health?

If the Shoe Fits

Shoes today are designed to meet the needs of the athlete wearing them, and while they’re relatively similar, they each offer supportive features specific to the dynamics of each sport. When you consider a sport like dancing, ballet dancers’ shoes are much different than those of ballroom or tap dancers, because structurally, the athletes need different support for their bodies. Because of the different forces and mechanics of activities like walking versus running, a supportive shoe will prevent injury and fatigue in the foundation of the feet while offering support for the structures higher up in the body.

Run For Your Life

Running can be a tremendously beneficial activity for your health and life, but it can be straining for those with knee pain because of the forces of impact on already sensitive joints. Running also exerts great pressure on the feet, with each heel strike bearing the weight of over 2.5 times the weight of the entire body. Running shoes are specifically designed to cushion for and distribute that impact, while maintaining the firm structure necessary for stability.

Walk This Way

Walking typically results in less impact than running, but shoes for walkers will need more cushioning to offset the strain because the foot is typically on the ground longer with each step. While walking, your steps follow more of a rocking motion, moving weight from heel to the ball of the foot, so shoes also need to be flexible to distribute the weight, but firm enough to support the arch of the foot. When you walk in running shoes that have less cushioning, it could lead to complications like Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and even stress fractures, all of which can be considered “impact injuries.” Changes in gait from injuries lower in the leg can result in strain in the knee that compromise function and stability, which can lead to more knee pain.

Noticing the Impact of Knee Pain on Your Activity Levels?

Adults today are more active longer than ever before, with the knees taking much of the wear and tear in our bodies. Fortunately, advances in science and technology have led to improvements in methods for knee pain relief, and for providing non-surgical options for improvement and repair. At ViscoGen®, our techniques have helped thousands of patients avoid or substantially delay surgery, including those that were told surgery was their only option. Call us today to learn more about how we can help! You have nothing to lose but the pain.