The ‘experts/manufacturers’ would suggest that by changing ‘impact force’ of foot on the ground, or modifying the contact with the ground, it will reduce your likelihood of injury. There is a tendency to throw around words like pronation or supination as if these were just built-in defects that could be improved with the correct shoe.
As a therapist I’d rather work out the reason for the pronation or supination and correct that. I also believe that your foot, like the rest of you, should be strong enough to do its job - and that nothing is as good to move on as the foot. I like to look for the reason for the poor contact, and the reason for the contact stresses, and correct those. Build a body that can run, rather than support a weakness.
There is research to indicate that wearing shoes that attempt to correct pronation or provide cushioning may result in a greater prevalence of injury (Warburton, 2001).
Warburton concludes that running in shoes:
- can increase risk of ankle sprains by decreasing awareness of foot position and amplify twisting torque on the ankle during a stumble
- can increase risk of plantar fasciitis and other chronic injuries of the lower limb by modifying the transfer of shock to muscles and supporting structures