Kevin visited our willow lawn store last week exhibiting all the signs and symptoms of medial tibial stress syndrome. He had visited another store which told him he overpronated and needed a stability shoe. Kevin was fine with that first pair but when they wore out he visited a second store which also told him he overpronated, but just a little, and that he didn’t need all the support of his first pair. So Kevin purchase a stability shoe for mild support. Thats when his shin pain started. He couldn’t understand why he could run pain free in one stability shoe but not another.

After listening to Kevin’s prior experience, then conducting a full body gait analysis, we were able to show him that he didn’t overpronate at all. From the ankle down, Kevin’s gait was neutral. However, above his ankle he ran with a bow to his legs. This created an excessive lower limb varus, in relation to his feet and shoes, which was the source of the strain to his medial shin. Technically he wasn’t overpronating but to the untrained eye, the lower limb varus angles can be misleading.

The strong stability shoe worked for Kevin because it forced him to underpronate. It reduced the varus angle and took stress away from his medial shin. The mild stability shoe allowed him to pronate neutrally just enough to cause the pain. We asked Kevin to try on a pair of the Brooks Adrenaline, one of the strongest stability shoes available. His relief was instantaneous. So was his smile.

It’s a rare day that we suggest a neutral runner wear a stability shoe but it’s a great day when we can help someone get back to healthy and happy running.

~ Jeff Van Horn, Lucky Road

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