Last weekend I walked into Metro Run and Walk and asked to be fitted for some running shoes (as opposed to walking into a discount shoe store and walking out with a pair that seemed to fit me comfortably). After watching me walk and job around the store a bit and asking me about how much I had been running, the young sales woman told me that I showed signs of some serious overpronation and needed as much support as any running shoe could give without adding orthopedic supports. In other words, when I run, my planted foot rolls inward and flattens out the arch, which in turn puts a lot of stress on the lower leg muscles and knees. In the end, I paid a pretty penny for a pair of Brooks Beasts (appropriate name). I figured that if it kept me from getting shin splints or other injuries, it was money well spent.
Once home, I examined my feet more closely and came to the conclusion that I am heading in the direction of having flat feet. If in my early stages of learning yoga, I complained about having stiff ankles and feet, I now have gone the other direction of not having tensile strength in the arches to hold up under the stress of running. I guess this news is just another sign of aging — the body parts will wear out over time and no amount of restorative practices of yoga will return them to their youthful flexibility.
This condition does not mean I will stop running. I will just be more careful, concentrate on keeping good form and listen closely to what my body tells me. I am going to do some exercises meant to deal with fallen arches and see what happens. I am told that it’s really hard to reverse overpronation.