Severe Overpronator/Sore Shins and Calves!

Dear All

 Firstly, I have to say from reading some of the different posts, that this website and the forums are fab!

Hello - my name is Hayley, I'm 36 and I live in Aberdeen.  I'm a fairly new runner and have been doing it "seriously" since January.  I trained for and successfully completed my first 10k 3 weeks ago - the Balmoral 10k in 1hr 14mins (not a bad time considering the bloody great big mountainous hill in the middle!!) - and am now training to do my second on the 24th of this month.

However, I have been bothered with sore shins and calves which have been particularly bad since Balmoral.  I go regularly to an Osteopath for a sports massage, which helps hugely, and I also recently went to see a Podiatrist who confirmed my overpronation (which I alread knew having had my gait analysed properly when buying my trainers - Asics) but stated that it was particularly severe and that my new trainers were not built up enough to support my arches - damn and blast!!

 So here is what I have been doing up til now:

  • wearing proper motion control trainers - Asics
  • going regularly to the Osteopath
  • wearing compression socks after my run
  • massaging Arnica into my legs 2-3 times a day
  • taking multivits AND Glucosamine/Chondroitin/Rosehip supplements
  • drinking 2+ litres of water/fluid a day
  • Eating good carbs and fats and watching the diet
  • Warming up and doing light stretches before running
  • Warming down and doing long stretch session after run

 What else can I do?!!  I have my next 10k in 2 weeks time, so have decided to stop running this week and focus purely on strength training, core stability and swimming and then go for a wee run next Sunday and see how I fare - I'm thinking that maybe I just need a rest. 

I have bought new trainers today - Brooks Ariels - as they were recommended for severe overpronators and I hope that I have better luck with them.  If these don't work, I guess I will have no option but to go down the proper orthotics route, but that is soooo expensive!

My mind and heart are determined to keep running (I've applied for a charity place in next years London Marathon!) but my body is protesting big style.

It seems to me as if my problems are largely down to biomechanics, so I really hope that this weeks "rest" and my new trainers will help.

If anyone has any new helpful ideas/advice, I am all ears!!

Thanks in advance

Hayley x


  • You seem to be doing everything right, Hayley.  I have heard that "downhills" tend to cause shin problems (I'm not an expert, it's just what I've read or heard about on the net). 

    I also overpronate, but have managed with the support trainers.  I have a few different ones for the gym or for use outdoors. I particularly liked the Saucony ones I bought last year when i did the british 10k last year but those were for short distances. I tend to wear Asics most of the time and although I bought the Gel Kayano I found those ones too heavy.

    Orthotics are expensive, but once you get them you would only need to buy neutral trainers which are considerably cheaper.  If running is something you are thinking of taking up for the long haul, it might be worth investing in the orthotics.  I don't know what they are like to run in, but my sister has some and she has got used to them. Have another word with your podiatrist and see what they say, afterall, you want to be right for the marathon, it's a long way to go in the wrong shoes.

  • Hia Katb

    Thanks so much for your response - I really appreciate it!  I had Saucony trainers before (this is not my first attempt at running, but is certainly the longest and most successful attempt!) and they were good. I've got a pair of old Brooks, which I now use for going to the gym and I also have a pair of Mizuno Waves which were great but are 2 years old and have deteriorated somewhat so I don't wear then for running.  I had never had Asics before and I do find them very comfy but the Podiatrist assessed them and said that they were not supportive enough.  Apparently most of the Motion Control trainers only have 4% arch support and, following her assessment, she said that I need 8%!!

    I know that I probably really do need to go down the orthotics route, but have tried to avoid it so far.  Looks like I can't stay in denial anymore - damn and blast!!   However, before I splash the cash, I am going to wait for my Brooks Ariels to arrive and give them a bash first.  If that doesn't work, then I will concede and go for the orthotics!

    Thanks again, Katb and I look forward to chatting to you again!


  • Have you seen this from another thread

    If you go into the new discussions page, you should see one about Sole  (something or other) someone's tried them with results.  they might be cheaper.

  • Thanks Katb, I'll do that.

    Thankfully my podiatrist didn't recommend custom orthotics - she says that the latest research suggests that over the counter (but properly prescribed) orthotics are just as effective as the rediculously expensive ones.  Her insoles are from Australia and cost £50, which isn't bad but it would mean buying yet ANOTHER pair of trainers, plus she recommends that I get used to wearing them in my everyday shoes before adding them to running shoes, or I will over correct and get a host of other injuries and complaints!!  Its so complicated!  image  In the current climate, it is challenging forking out for new running kit, but I guess that it is an investment in myself and my fitness - I'll see what happens with the Brooks Ariels and then make the call.

     You've been super helpful - cheers!!

  • You could always try to get a refund on your trainers.  Ask at the shop where you bought them.  The companies don't like it when athletes get injured in their trainers.  Sweatshop are pretty good and have refunded money on trainers when they have caused problems even though they've been worn outside. The worse they can say is no. If you don't get any joy from the shop, try the company who made them. Good luck with that and I hope you are soon sorted out.


  • Hi. I also overpronate and have had a few problems with my knees and feet, so I consulted a podiatrist recently, who found that my left leg is longer than my right. He has given me orthotics to try and recommended New Balance shoes with orthotics for overpronators. 

  • Hia Vicky,

     Great to hear from you!

    My podiatrist said that she had never seen such equal length legs in her puff!!  Apparently it is the norm to have one leg slightly shorter than the other (normal ranges up to 1 inch) but she said that mine were perfectly equal!  However, that doesn't do anything to compensate for the fact that my feet are so flat that my knees knock!!

    I have a 10k next weekend and will soldier on with my Asics, but after that I am going to start down the orthotics route and get myself biomechanically sorted!!

    Let me know how you get on with your orthotics.  Will you be wearing them all the time, i.e. in your day shoes as well?  My Pod said that I had to build up to wear them and get used to them in my day shoes before putting them in my running shoes.  I'd be interested to hear what your Pod told you.

     Take it easy!  Cheers


  • Hi again!
    The podiatrist told me to start running with them and to go back in a few weeks' time to see how I get on. He said that if i also wear them in my everyday shoes that will speed up the time it takes to strengthen the muscles needed to keep my body in a better alignment.  He looked at my newest running shoes (bought on advice at a specialist shop!) which have been causing me a lot of pain in my left arch and told me never to run in them again, and that my old Saucony Jazz were a much better bet if I didn't want to go and buy another new pair.  I've also had a pair of Mizuno Wave in the past, and they seemed quite good for my feet too.
    Good luck with your 10K.
  • Hia Vicky and Katb

    Just wanted to let you know that I went to my local independant running shop yesterday and after a thorough consultation re; my over pronation, the lovely chap recommended SUPERFEET insoles.  I bought the Green ones and wore them for a couple of hours yesterday with no issue.

     I ran for the first time in 10 days today (after my rest period) with the insoles and whilst I had some minor shin discomfort, the difference was significantly better than recently.  I can feel the firm support in my feet and it is not at all uncomfortable.  My shins were not in bits by the end of the run, although my ITB was a bit nippy, which I suspect is down to my biomechanics shifting, so I spent a long time stretching afterwards.

    Yay!  Early indications show that Hayley has got her running Mojo back!!  Just in time for the Baker Hughes 10k next Sunday - phew!!

     Thanks for all your help and advice - I really appreciate it!!

    Cheers, Hailz


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