Barefoot Shoes for Runner's Knee (PFPS)

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Improved(1)
Cured(10)
  • tawandacat Runner's Knee (PFPS)

    • Age 55+
    • Female
    • 145 lbs
    • 5' 7"
    • Binalong Bay, Tasmania
    22
    Sep2016
    • Injury Status Cured
    • Physical activity per week 8+ hours
    • Chronicity 6-18 Months
    • Repeat injury? No

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes, Proper Running Form
      Improved
      NSAIDs - Anti Inflammatory drugs, Ice, Strengthening Exercises, Cross training
      Not Improved
      Orthotics
      Worsened
      Supportive Shoes

    I had been running for years in really cushioned shoes (Asics Nimbus) When I was in my 30's I developed a sharp pain in my heels. I fixed this problem with orthotics as it was a quick fix to my problem. I ran with these orthotics in very cushioned shoes for 20 years. Then in my mid 50's I developed runners knee. I couldn't run anymore it hurt too much. So I started bike riding. I found that if I pointed my feet outwards (externally rotating the leg) when I peddled, it didn't hurt my knees. I took this concept back to my running. I read the book "Born to Run" By Christopher McDougall. I discovered that really padded running shoes gives the body a false sense of protection. When the brain doesn't perceive danger it does nothing to protect itself from repetitive actions like running with the knees misaligned as in my case, despite the orthotics. I switched to a mid barefoot shoe and got rid of the orthotics. I found the idea of using my feet and having a better connection to the ground profoundly interesting and helpful. I became very interested in posture and mechanical alignment of the body and how it correlates and affects performance. After reading the book "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back" by Esther Gokhale. I signed up for the Gokhale Method Foundations Course. This is where I learned to walk a line with my inner heels on that line. This was the deal breaker for me. I found that this movement along with using my feet properly and engaging my glutes externally rotated the leg and aligned my ankles, knees and hips. I am now 58 years old and I am happily running again without any knee issues. Today, I just came back from a barefoot run along the beach. I haven't had knee problems for 2+ years now.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes

    I'm of the personal opinion that many of our knee problems stem from stuffing too much padding underneath our feet and heel-striking. When you learn proper running form with a midfoot/toe strike instead, and stop running with an inch of padding underneath (allowing your feet and ankles to fully function), knee problems fade away. They did for me, anyways, barefoot running.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes

    I had runner's knee for a couple of years, and then I switched to running minimalist (barefoot,huaraches, vff) . Never had knee problems since, and running is more fun than ever.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes, Proper Running Form

    I did not start running until after 40. I don't have many problems with my knees, and a lot of other age related problems cleared up when I began running. I did take a biomechanics class that cleared up a lot of my issues by correcting my heal bashing and pronation. I run in minimalist shoes, and don't feel any jarring on my joints.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes

    I like the barefoot running technique. But be careful and ease your way into it - particularly because of your foot problems. I swear by barefoot running; I had to stop running because of knee problems, but since the switch nearly 2 years ago, I've had virtually no knee problems. But results may vary, as the disclaimers say.
    If you do try this, give it at least a month. That's my recommendation.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes, Strengthening Exercises

    I must say I agree with strength exercises, but specifically for your feet. The theory is: you've coddled your feet your entire life. They're weak.
    Taken from another comment I wrote recently:
    I'm also really flat footed and I pronate. My solution? I ditched the heavy "motion control" running shoes and instead transitioned to minimalist shoes.
    First, ran for about 6months with brooks cascadia. Smaller heel to toe drop than I was used to. More of a neutral shoe.
    Now I run with new balance minimus trail.
    Why? I believe that my feet, knees, etc were designed for running and that any of these attempts to "correct" my feet and form with advanced running shoes (recent inventions really) would eventually lead to some kind of injury.
    It's been great. Knee pain has disappeared. My feet and ankles are noticeably stronger. And when I went back to my local running store to analyze my feet with their fancy equipment, somehow, after those 6 months or so, they said I have a "nice arch" (again, flat footed my whole life). I think my arch has really strengthened because I am no longer supporting it artificially with those shoes.
    Good luck!


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes

    For whatever it is worth, I started wearing 5 finger shoes a number of years ago, and never looked back. Removed all the stress from my knees, shins and back. It took some getting used to, but once I was there, I didn't have any problems anymore.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes

    I had chronic knee pain and shin splints for years, on and off, and transitioning to minimalist shoes ended it all for me. There are other injuries that can occur, however since it puts a lot of stress on your Achilles and calves.
    I tried going back to "regular" running shoes and using the same midfoot strike technique, but found I did not enjoy running nearly as much. Once you run in sandals, it's hard to put your foot back in a normal shoe, even Vibrams.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Physical Therapy, Stretching, Barefoot Shoes, Strengthening Exercises

    Stretch your IT Band. I was having issues with my knee and a PT told me to strengthen my glutes and stretch my IT band muscle groups. Also look into minimalist shoes. These all worked for me.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes

    I suffered from "over pronation" and it was basically because I'm flat footed and always slam my heel down mid way through a run. I switched to vibrams (finger-toe shoes) that force you to use the front part of your foot. Not only did a ditch the chronic knee pain, but I also go MUCH faster.
    If you make the switch look into easing yourself into the shoes online. Putting them on and even doing a mile will rip your feet up. You have to work your feat into doing long runs, but it only takes about a week or so.


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  • 28
    Jun2011
    • Injury Status Recovering

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Stretching
      Almost Cured
      Strengthening Exercises
      Improved
      Barefoot Shoes

    I found daily stretching if the iliotibial band to be extrememly helpful in lessening my pain throughout training leading up to my first half marathon.

    For anyone who is interested try vibram five fingers or ino-v8 running shoes to promote correct running technique.

    It should also be noted the huge benefits of core strengthening exercises and the affect they can have on running. Turkish get-ups are perfect.


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