I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about shoes lately. I was thinking my pink Asics GT-2110s were responsible for my shin pain but after trying out my oh so comfy Asics Kayano 13’s on a lunch time run I was still having shin pain. I’d give up for a few days, then go run early Saturday morning and everything would feel fine. What gives? After having two great feeling runs in a row this week I realized that the dividing factor between good runs and bad runs was whether I ran in the morning or the afternoon, not what shoe I was wearing. Well, at least not what shoe I was wearing on the run. As you’ve noticed before I have a love for shoes but I’ve gotten into a rut wearing the boring flat loafer type of shoe all the time. I have this closet of great shoes and I’ve been trying to let some of these shoes see some daylight. And some pavement. I think that when I wear heels maybe my calves are tightening up while I’m sitting at my desk and when I go for a run and get the blood moving it is translating into shin pain. The interesting thing is on all of my runs the pain starts one mile in and diminishes just before the 3 mile mark. Today I wore heels to work and when my shin started acting up I started to think about this theory. After my shins sorted themselves out I never had any more complaining from them for the rest of the 5 mile run. I started wondering if maybe there was a kinesiology grad student somewhere in need of a research project and maybe they could help me out with my theory. Of course I could just test the theory myself with some flat shoes, but the good news is the severity of my shin pain was a lot less today. Maybe I don’t have to give up the heels, maybe this is just something I have to work through. Who knows?
I did find this link over at Run For Life that confirms just how bad high heels are for your feet. Hmm.
Apparently running, actually in high heels, is bad for you too. Particularly if you are claiming workers comp because you are too injured to work, like the fellow who was trying to win Hannah Montana tickets by running around in high heels and women’s clothing and had it all caught on video. Oops.
A friend of mine got the same type of pain from wearing heels…. it still bothers her right now! Leave the heels home, they are a killer from your legs anyway!
High heels can exacerbate tight calves which can contribute to the shin splints. When I’ve been running hills and my calves are tight, my shins act up until I become dedicated to stretching them out.
I had a really bad case of shin splints a couple of years back. I went to a podiatrist and had custom orthotics made. They must have helped because even though my shins still get tender to the touch during high volume training, it has never been debilitating like it was before the orthotics. To mix up the advice, my podiatrist said he would rather me wear (lowish) heels to work than to wear totally flat ballerina flat-like shoes. He said the flat shoes were much worse for my over-pronation which caused the shin splints. I guess it depends on the cause.
Angry Runner says
My hamstrings also get tight along with my calves if I wear heels on a regular basis. I’ve been skimping on my stretching routine lately too which makes the problem worse…thankfully no residual pain from my heels…yet.
Heels are bad for your feet…I’ve read all the stats, but what’s kind of funny is I had a bit of arch pain going on at one time, and the only thing that made it feel better WAS the heels. What I’d suggest is try to regularly ice and stretch the calves, wear the heels, but not EVERY day…give the shins a break…there is no reason we can’t have high fashion AND good running right?
Speed Racer says
That cop story is AWESOME! I’m telling you, wear old running shoes everywhere and you’ll never have a foot problem again. And from what I’ve heard, this isn’t your first high-heel related injury either! Maybe there’s a support group somewhere.