by Gina Shell

How you run can be determined by the soles on your shoes. Stating it differently, how your weight is transferred from point to point along your foot can be seen in the way your soles wear. The soles of your shoes also could tell you why you got injured if you get injured.

A normal wear pattern shows you land on the outer side of your heel. Your weight then moves quickly to the outer side of your foot (not causing much noticeable wear). You will see a wear spot just behind the first and second toe.

The next pattern is for pronation. Pronation happens when one has fallen arches. Your arches are weak, and your feet roll in as a result. When you run your weight will fall towards the inner side of the foot. This location on the sole is where you will see a wear spot. Pronation can cause pains in the arch, leg pains, and back pains.

A wear spot just behind the big toe on the sole shows you have bony feet. You could possibly get a bone bruise on the first metatarsal.

If the wear spot shows excessive wear behind the second and third toes, you probably have corns or calluses in that spot. Too much weight is being distributed on that spot.

All runners should pay attention to their shoes and where they are running. A journal (runner’s log) is a great way to keep track of running on a daily basis. I started keeping one when I started running. It is nice to go back and reference certain race times or running routes. This log is also a great place to write down what shoes you wore, and, as a result, that log also keeps track of how many miles you have used that pair to run. This information is also beneficial if you rotate shoes. Check the wear spots on the soles, and that can determine which kind of runner you are. This wear is also beneficial when you go to buy new shoes….you can tell if you pronate, have bony feet, normal pattern, or corns and calluses, and you can choose your next shoe accordingly.

Happy Running!