Running Shoe Help!

Hi all,

Im confused??? I have injured my calf muscle and been advised by my physio that it may be down to my running shoes. I run in BROOKS BEAST. I have ran in them for the past 5 years having done 4 London Marathons in them.

My shoes are showing heavy wear on the heel on the outer edge.

I have spoken to Up & Running where I had my feet videoed and was advised on a shoe and they say, dont litsen to physio's??

Any and all advice is welcome, Im confused!!



  • Just confirm that you have had the same shoes for 5 years or the same type of shoe??

    Personally I would take a physios advice over a run analysis in a shop but thats my opinion and I dont know you, your shop or your physio !

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    I GUESS it's not uncommon for a highly trained physio to know less about the finer details running shoes, than a running shop specialist.  That seems pretty obvious to me.  It's easy for a physio who is highly skilled in treating everyone from stroke victims, to bad necks, bad backs, pregnancy joint-issues etc etc, to treat the symptoms very well... and to make the throw-away comment that it could be your running shoes to blame.. after all, it's a fair comment.     If you know your physio well...  or if he/she has a great reputation amongst runners...  or if they gave you a clear explanation about what evidence they have to back-up their statement, then you can have more confidence.

    M...eldy asks a great question.... are these 5 year old shoes, with thousands of miles on the clock?  If so, then I think you have your answer!  They are not supposed to last more than 500 miles before their stability starts to deteriorate...   in which case both the physio and the running shop are probably rright...  it is your (knackered) running shoes that are to blame... and the running shop is prescribing you the correct ones!

    If you've routinely changed your shoes every year, it seems odd that, after all that running in that design of shoe, that you only now have problems. Is it a 'one off', or have calf-problems been building up over time? 

    What about the wear pattern? Heavy wear on the heel suggests you're doing a heavy heel strike... maybe overstriding... which might mean your running form has changed over the years (have you always generated this wear pattern, or is it a change in wear pattern that coincides with the injury?)

    Does the outer-edge wear extend beyond the heel...  or not?  If it also shows some wear on the ball of the foot, then that would, I understand, be the classic overpronating wear pattern, suggesting you do need stability shoes like these.  If the wear goes along the outer edge, you are presumably supinating...  and these would be the wrong shoes...  but I'd expect supination to be picked up on the gait analysis.

    In summary, based on limited info, if your shoes are 5yrs old and done 4 marathons, then they need replacing... 

    If these are relatively new shoes, then think if you are excessively heel striking or overstriding, which could cause you problems.  And also check to see if wear extends down along the outer edge of the shoe towards the outside middle of the shoe, without wear on the inner side - suggesting you're supinating and in the wrong design of shoe. (an pronating foot classically heel strikes on the outer side of the heel, and rolls inwards as the stride progresses...  if the pronation is excessive, the wear is excessive, both on the outer heel and diagonally opposite (though it can be much less obvious under the ball of the foot because contact area is so much bigger to spread the load).   If you are overpronating, you are probably in the right shoe.

    That's my 2p worth. A bit rambling, but I haven't time to sort it out!

  • Thats good value for tuppence.image
  • Wow, thank you all for your replies, in answer to a question, No they are not the same pair of running shoes, I change them at least once a year. 

    When I had my feet first videoed they said overpronator, hence the Brooks Beast which they recommended along with other similar shoes.

    I do have heavy wear on outer heels & wear on centre of shoe at front & in the inner front area, by big toes. But not as excessive as at the rear.

    My physio agrees I am an overpronator but feels the level of control I have in the Brooks is to severe and I should be looking at a moderate overpronators shoe.

    I do not have flat feet, I would say after checking my arch is normal.

    I had my feet videoed at UP & RUNNING.

    I hope that all makes sense!

    Thank you again


  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    Up & Running - usually good shops.  I think you've recognised that the shoe is working to support your overpronation - hence that wear pattern.  So the advice you've been given when buying the shoes was at the very least, reasonable... and probably good.

    I don't know enough to advise much beyond that.  The general rule seems to be that, if you've had 4 or 5 pairs the same, then you should look elsewhere for a root-cause.   My instinct is that your physio didn't know the root-cause and was fishing for possibilities when he pinned it on the shoe.

    How DID the injury come about? In your heart-of-hearts, do you believe it to originate from the shoes?  It could be 'just one of those things' that was brought on by not having warmed up properly, or just over done it, or just pushed off at an awkward angle.  And once you do a calf-muscle, the injury can certainly hang.

    Do you think your stride pattern might have changed (heavier heel striking)? Do you have any of your old shoes to help you think about this?  You could perhaps consider shortening your stride (so upping the stride frequency)...  if you've over-striding now, then that puts unnecessary forces on you as you run.  It's good to land your foot pretty much under your body.. not way out in front of you.

    You could try something slightly less supportive... but if you find you recover whilst wearing them, then don't immediately assume the Brookes are wrong. It might well be that you would have recovered anyway.   Good luck in working it out.

  • I know its been a while but would just like to say I've switched running shoes to the Asics GT- 2170 have to say they have been fantastic, no pain at all, completed the London Marathon in them.

    Thank you all for your comemnts and advice, its great to be able to speak with like minded people when you dont know what to do yourself.



  • Five features the perfect running shoe needs:

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
  • Genuine feature written by yours truely. Just trying to generate some honest traffic.

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