Will Maximal Running Shoes Change My Gait

Dear Running Profs,
I’ve recently been considering trying a pair of maximal runnings shoes but I’m concerned that that it will change my gait. Is there any truth in this?
Carol Cathrine

As anyone who’s run in a pair of maximal cushioned running shoes will testify, they certainly give you a different sensation when you run.

Not since Bill Bowerman did his thing with a waffle iron has a shoe been so controversial. When it comes to maximal running shoes you really do either love them or hate them.

Many runners enjoy the sensation of being able to spring forward believing the shoes to improve their running gait while others have reported that the feel unstable and unbalanced.

What maximal shoes do give you however, is fantastic underfoot protection and cushioning.

When you’re buying your first pair, there are 4 things that you simply must take into consideration – pronation control, heel-toe drop, stiffness and shape.

Some shoes, such as those by Hoka will incorporate a rocker sole which is significantly thicker in the midsection or will feature a very steep curve from the forefoot to toebox which can alter your gait.

Again, it’s a personal thing – some people will instantly take to the sensation while it just won’t feel right to others.

If you do choose to run in maximal running shoes then it’s best to assume that your gait will change given the dynamics of the shoe. Just think that you’ll now have two running gaits, a traditional style and an extra comfortable style.