Running Shoes Injuries

by Vickie Answer by Marius
(Toronto, Ontario)

Running shoe injuries is more common than people think. The force you produce while running has to be evenly distributed through your body. Excessive pronation/overpronation is a more common problem in terms of running injuries than we may be aware of.

Vickie has a few great questions concerning this,

"I started experiencing numbness in the two outside toes (and under) at about 4K into my runs and after about 5 months into my shoes and somewhere between 100-200K. After a few weeks of dealing with that I started feeling slight pain in the arch and now, add a tender feeling in the Achilles heel. I bought new shoes last week. I ran 5K on the track with them before hitting the streets. I did 6K with out any numbness in the toes. I am still experiencing pain in the Achilles and even in regular shoes a bit of numbness in the toes and a snapping feeling underneath.

My question is in two parts
1. Should I seek the help of a professional?
2. If the cause of the pain is directly related to wearing worn shoes, how soon can I expect to see relief?

Not sure where I am with this. Do I have an injury that I may aggravate by continuing to run? Or will it work itself out in the new shoes if I am careful? I have just begun a 10K running program with a group and don't want to end up dropping out do to an injury.

As an added note I have only been running for 6 months. Before joining the 10K group I was doing between 5-7K 3 times a week on my own.

Any advise you can give would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for your questions, Vickie. You know, this is quite common for beginner runners. What you are describing so well, is something usually caused by the movement of your foot in relations to your (born with) anatomy. This can give running shoe related injuries.

Running Shoes Injuries - Anatomy and Shoes

Injury problems while running has to do with two areas, in addition to too much training too soon :
  • running anatomy

  • running shoes

1. Running shoes injuries in relation to anatomy

This is the deal ; when a runner experiences achilles pain while at the same time pain underneath the foot like you describe, in most cases it has to do with your low/high arch + the general landing pattern.

The arch anatomy makes your foot + therefore your achilles to do excessive outwards/inwards movements as you land.

The results ?

Excessive over or underpronation which simply makes the running force too much for the achilles to handle.

This also makes sense with your shoes + problems at 100-200 km. Probably those shoes are not 100 % what you need and therefore they only give the right support when they are not worn down at all. You want to have shoes that give you enough arch/pronation support to last at least 500-1000 km.

2. To solve the running shoes injury problem with shoes

My personal favorite shoes to solve these type of problems are
  • Asics running shoes - in particular the Kayano series and the DS trainer/2120 shoes.

  • New Balance running shoes - the have some reallly good ones in their 900/1000 series.

These two running shoes brands give fantastic support and control of the movement while running while at the same time not controlling it too much to limit movement. The other thing with Asics and New Balance shoes is that they do not tend to "rub" the achilles as much as for example Nike/Adidas (my experience). The friction can cause even more problems so you want to avoid that. You can read more about Asics Running Shoesas well as New Balance Running Shoes here.

3. Massage the achilles for pain relief

In addition to this, every other day or so do self massage of the achilles (not every day) to relief the pain. For the pain underneath the foot - use a golf-ball and from a standing position put pressure on and let it massage the tender areas, every other day here as well.

This in combination with shoes that will fit your foot better will most likely solve your problems.

You should experience results in about 7-10 days time. You may seek professional assistance but the main things you can do yourself with the above. If it is not better within 2-3 weeks you want too see assistance and probably get on some anti-inflammatories in addition to the work you do yourself to get healed.

As for running while healing - I would not recommend just rest (makes it more difficult once you start running again). Instead :
  • Cut the normal running schedule down to half for one week. If it gets better, continue for another week.

  • Once the pain is gone you can increase again.

  • If it does not get better after half a schedule cut down to 1/3 and try this.

I hope this helps you, I wish you all the best with the injury + future training.

Best wishes,


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