What's the Deal with Motion Control Sneakers?

Motion control sneakers are only necessary for SOME runnersMotion control sneakers—running shoes that contain a rigid piece of plastic near the middle and a harder piece of foam on the inward side of the sole—are the latest innovation in the fight against running injuries. Being touted as the safest type of shoe for running, this sneaker technology claims to reduce running injuries by about 50%--but the question remains, do they work for everyone?

According to a study from the Luxembourg Institute of Health, motion control technology really does reduce injury, but only for people with flat feet or whose feet roll inward (a natural type of foot strike also known as pronation.)

How do you know if your foot pronates? The only real way to get that information is to schedule a gait analysis consultation (I offer this service to patients in my Houston podiatry practice.) While a gait analysis is not necessary for you to run safely, it’s not a bad idea to get tested before you invest in expensive footwear.

You see, sneakers today come with lots of bells and whistles—but, for most runners, the only footwear requirement they should consider is finding a good and comfortable fit. Unless you have a particular problem with your feet or gait, you really don’t need a jazzed up pair of shoes to enjoy injury free running. So, spare yourself years of expensive shoe shopping trips: get your gait analysis once and enjoy the luxury of purchasing, the cheapest, comfiest shoes on the market for the rest of your life!

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.