20% to 80% of runners will experience injuries every year, with most of them in the knee. The primary risk factors for developing injuries were a history of previous injuries in male runners. Surprisingly to some, if the training distance was increased each week, this helped prevent the knee injuries.

Interesting statistics, and one has to wonder if the new craze in running – minimalist running – is related at all. Minimalist runners say that wearing running shoes encourages heel striking that should not occur when you’re running. This slows down running times and causes running injuries such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis. They challenge you to run barefoot and see how your gait changes: almost one hundred percent of people will not run on the heel.

The difference between regular orthotics for runners and those for minimalist runners is the thickness in the orthotics. Minimalist runners don’t want to be bogged down with thick insoles and believe that they’ll interfere with the ability of the foot to perceive input from the ground.

Here are some orthotics for minimalist runners:

Currex RunPro Insoles

In these, the company reports that if you’re suffering from any of the following conditions, the pain from these conditions will decrease:

• back pain                              • heel pain

• knee pain                              • plantar fasciitis

• runner’s knee                        • shin splits

• blisters                                  • bursitis

• Achilles tendonitis                • pain in the arches

• overpronation                       • iliotibial band syndrome

• collapsed arches

Spenco Total Support Thin Insoles

In these orthotics for runners (and minimalist runners), you can expect them to be 20% thinner than the Spenco Support Original Insoles. The 3-POD Cushioning Insole System is the most important part of the Orthotic for running that prevents overpronation. There’s also a forefoot crash pad that provides ball of the foot cushioning. These orthotics for running are recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association and are under guarantee for one entire year.

If you’ve used orthotics in the past for runners, you know how much they’ve helped your feet. Try them again, especially if you’ve changed your style of running to minimalist running. The footwear and orthotics industry has already created orthotics specifically for minimalists.

Source: Van Gent, R.N., et al. Incidence and determinants of lower extremity running injuries in long distance runners: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med 2007;41: 469-80.

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