A Runners Review of Specialized Athletic Shoes for Foot Pain Relief
It isn’t hard to believe that the foot is one of the main areas prone to injury in runners. Sometimes, though, it is a pre-existing foot problem that can cause pain during a run. In my case, the cause of my foot pain is a bunion.
A bunion is an enlargement of the big toe joint that forms because the big toe pushes inward, forcing the joint outward. My bunion is due to an inherited structural defect – just about everyone in my immediate family has them – but I have made it worse over the years with repetitive stress on the foot. (I was also a slave to high heeled shoes in my younger days which force the toes into the front of the shoe, crowding the toes.)
Since I started running regularly about a year ago, I have noticed increased pain in my left foot, especially in the ball of the foot, a condition known as metatarsalgia. So far, I have opted for nonsurgical treatments including wearing wider shoes, taping my big toe into a normal position, applying ice packs (especially at night) and lots and lots of ibuprofen. I also forgo high heels entirely.
Recently, some wonderful folks at Aetrex offered me a solution known as the RX Runner. These shoes were designed for relief from foot pain and discomfort while still looking great. The shoe helps reduce pressure and shock from the areas of the foot most susceptible to pain. In particular, the RX runner helps metatarsalgia by incorporating the appropriate toe spring to reduce stress at the ball of the foot.
The insole of the RX Runner also includes a soft metatarsal pad to redistribute pressure.
My most recent shoe purchase was actually a great shoe with a wide toe box and more stability than I previously had in cheaper shoes. But unfortunately, I was still plagued by pain that kept me awake at night. So when I was given the chance to trial the RX Runners, I jumped at the chance.
I chose White/Blue for support of my favorite cause – Autism Speaks. The representative warned me that the shoe may at first feel heavier due to the built-in support and cushioning. They did feel heavy at first, but like most running shoes, all they really needed was a trial run to break them in.
My first run was very short, only 1.5 miles. The pain reduction in my foot was evident immediately. I’ve now had the shoes on runs up to five miles with the same pain-free night afterward. I do believe in the company slogan “The Healthiest Shoes You’ll Ever Wear.”
The cost of the shoes is about the same as other good quality running shoes, but with the added support, they are now my go-to shoe for my training runs. For more information, please visit www.aetrex.com.
Harvard Health Newsletter – What To Do About Bunions
Runner’s World Magazine – Prevent and Treat Bunions
Mayo Clinic – Bunions
KT Tape - Bunions
Disclaimer: Writer was provided a sample pair of RX Runners for this review.