Should You Be Running In Extra-Cushioned, Thick-Soled Shoes?


There's a new trend taking over the running world: shoes with soles so thick, they look almost like platforms. Proponents of these shoes say that they allow runners to run longer and harder with fewer injuries to the feet and legs. Others argue that the shoes don't do nearly as much as they claim. The truth likely lies somewhere between these polarized opinions. Whether or not you can benefit from running in super-padded shoes will depend on several factors:

Have you suffered a lot of overuse injuries in the past and ruled out other possible causes?

If you've suffered from overuse injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints in the past, switching to thick-soled shoes may help prevent future injuries. However, since these shoes are not proven to reduce the risk of injury, this should not necessarily be the first step you take when trying to keep your feet and legs healthy. Some things to try first include:

  • Visiting a running specialist to have your stride analyzed, and purchasing shoes that are compatible with your foot shape and stride.
  • Making sure you increase your mileage slowly by no more than 10% per week.
  • Including easy days in your training routine, and avoiding running hard workouts 2 days in a row.
  • Running on flat surfaces, and running on soft surfaces like grass and dirt as well as on the roads.

If you try all of the tips above and still find that you're getting injured often, then you may want to try switching to thick-soled shoes.

Are you training for a marathon or ultramarathon?

Many runners find that the extra-padded shoes help them recover from very long runs, but don't make much of a difference on shorter runs. If you're only training for a half marathon or shorter distance race, you are not likely to notice much of a difference when wearing extra-padded shoes versus a normal, sturdy running shoe. However, if you're out there pounding the trails for 2, 3 or more hours at a time on a regular basis, the extra cushioning might be good for your feet.

Some runners believe that the extra cushioning in these thick-soled shoes may keep the muscles and tendons in the feet and legs from developing as strongly as they could. To minimize this effect, try running only your long runs in the thick-soled shoes. Do your shorter workouts, which result in less overall pounding, in standard running shoes.

In the end, every runner has different needs and preferences when it comes to shoes. Thick-soled shoes are unlikely to be a miracle cure for every runner who deals with soreness or nagging injuries. However, if you're running high mileage and have not found another explanation for your frequent injuries, switching to thick-soled shoes may be a good choice for you.

For further assistance, contact a local podiatrist, such as one from


30 April 2015

Allergy Relief: You Have More Options Than You Think

As a child, I used to spend my days roaming through the woods. I climbed trees, smelled the flowers, and laid in the grass looking at the clouds. My love for nature continued through my teen years, but when I turned 23, I began to sneeze whenever I left my home. I could no longer enjoy my outdoor hikes and I started taking antihistamines so I could at least open my windows on warm days. My allergies got worse though and I met with an allergist who completed a variety of skin tests. I started receiving allergy shots and my allergist taught me about natural cleaning processes and sinus rinses. The injections and natural treatments improved my quality of life greatly. Even if you do not want to start allergy injections, you have a variety of options that can lessen your symptoms, and you should learn what these options are.