Tackle hidden form flaws

Spot and solve your running barriers to increase spreed and banish injury.

by Jennifer Hughes

running shoe sole
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Clue: Outsole wear on one shoe is greater than it is on the other.

Excessive outsole wear on one shoe may be caused by a discrepancy in your leg length, running on cambered surfaces or excessive hip rotation, says Amol Saxena, a podiatrist at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic in California.

Fix it

If you often run on a cambered road, try running on a more level surface or occasionally switching sides of the pavement while running.

Generally, if one leg is more than a quarter of an inch longer than the other, you’ll want a slight lift to correct the difference, according to Saxena. On leg differences less than a quarter of an inch, physical therapy and strengthening exercises often correct the issue.

Sometimes people don’t have differences in their leg length, but their body acts as if they do. This is called ‘functional short leg’, and back issues could be at the root of it. ‘If you have a pinched nerve in your back, you’ll have some weakness in the muscles that nerve supplies, so a leg might drop, slap or work unevenly,’ says Saxena. In this situation, you should go to see a back specialist who can address the issue.

Another possible cause of this quirk is lumbopelvic dysfunction, which is a forward/backward or side-to-side rotation in your hip or pelvis. A physiotherapist or chiropractor can often show you exercises to rotate your hip or pelvis back into place.

Picture credt: Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images

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