Oct | 14
Inspiration, Running Tips, Shoes & Gear

Can Running Change Your Feet?

Feet change

Photo via Flickr @Quasic

Every pair of feet is unique. There is no “one shoe fits all” option for runners. Here at Brooks we are dedicated to providing you with the perfect fit for your specific stride. But, we were curious: can a runner’s feet change over time? If you are currently running in the supportive Trance can your feet change so that you run best in the neutral Green Silence? To answer this question, we sat down with our biomechanics specialists Stacy Steffen and Eric Rohr and asked them what they thought.

Kim Brennecke Harden's Happy Feet

A photo from one of our fans, Kim Harden, showing her Run Happy Feet

Their answer? Yes, feet can change as you age. You’re arches can become flatter, your ankle muscles can become stronger, or weight gain/loss can cause you to use ligaments and tendons differently, for example. Biomechanist Stacy Steffen stated, “I have encountered this same question in the lab, many runners tell me their shoe journey and how training has allowed them to step out of their “training wheels” and into a lighter, less structured shoe.” Needing a less supportive training shoe can occur if a runner increases his or her mileage and/or strength training. Such training can strengthen ankle muscles and improve running form. As a result of strengthened muscles, a runner may need less support in their running shoes.

One should note, however, that the process of going from a Trance (supportive) to a Ghost (neutral) will take a while to achieve, and the time is even dependent on the runner.  This progression may not be possible for everyone.

However, the reverse is also possible. Feet can change if a runner becomes more sedentary, less active and gains weight. According to Brooks biomechanist Eric Rohr, “These factors weaken the body and place greater stresses on the body due to the added weight. These factors typically require more of our ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilage to protect the body from injury.” As a result, some individuals who run comfortably in a neutral shoe may need a support shoe as they age.

So what does this all mean?

Because your feet can change, Brooks biomechanists recommend getting your feet evaluated every couple of years. Rohr stated, “Brooks mission statement is “A Perfect Ride for Every Stride”, which means we build products that work for each and every runner, and that can adapt to the runner’s needs, and provide them the experience they desire, the safety they require, and the enjoyment running brings to you the runner.”

Want to find out which Brooks shoes are right for you?

How have your feet changed as you’ve run more or less? Add a comment below.

About Kristen
Kristen has worked for Brooks since summer 2011 and is an addicted runner. She ran in the Big 10 conference for The Ohio State University where she recently finished her master’s degree in Communication. Kristen is now running half-marathons (with a PR of 1:18:41) and full marathons (2:45:46). Kristen is a 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.
  1. Gabe

    I have gone from only could wear THE BEAST for more than 10 years to being told by my shoe store no more Beast, I can wear the Adrenaline training for my first tri!  That day was sweet!  I have even got back an arch on my feet (no more big flat foot print on the cement, it looks normal now!) as I lost weight!

  2. DS

    I’m glad to hear that I’m (probably) not delusional.  Over the past 4 or so years, I’ve gone from support shoes to neutral.  I started with the Adrenaline 6 or 7, then moved to the Ravenna 1, and now run in the Ghost 3.

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