- Dec 14, 2020
- Reaction score
I never had shin or knee problems, but my right foot just blasts right through sneakers. I end up with the tongue shoved way over to the right, and a hole where my big toe is, usually after a year or so. It's partially due to pronation and partially due to my right foot being too wide and very few sneakers being offered in multiple widths (especially in larger sizes). I didn't fully become conscious of these things until I decided to start wearing welted leather boots, which don't let my foot get away with that nonsense so the ones I was trying (Grant Stone and Red Wing options in D widths) were irksomely uncomfortable. I ended up gravitating towards White's and particularly the Bounty Hunter because of the arch support, gusseted tongue, and mismatch size options, all of which seemed they could alleviate these things, and then partway into break-in I discovered my right foot was still twisting around inside the boot and never feeling like it was touching down right in the front. Baker's recommended this adjustment and it has fixed the problem. I'm no longer walking around half-wondering whether my right boot actually fits right. Probably for the first time in my life.I wonder if heel adjustment is better suited for severe pronation rather than mild to moderate over-pronation that can generally be alleviated by good arch support. Apparently the majority of people (up to 60% from what I've read) over-pronate to some degree but I suspect most don't even know it or get along fine with "normal" shoes/boots.
As a runner I've had my gait analyzed (it was alarming to see how much my ankles/feet bent and flexed in slow motion on a treadmill) and I now tend to wear only "motion control" running shoes, although apparently there's not much evidence that they make a difference compared to neutral shoes when it comes to preventing injuries in the long term. Motion control running shoes are designed to provide slightly more arch support and to prevent the inside of the heel/sole from compressing too much as your foot naturally rolls inwards, not about tilting your foot in the first place (most over-pronators' feet land more or less flat then roll inwards; only severe pronators/supinators AFAIK strike heavily with one edge of the foot/heel). I imagine the rock hard sole and heel of a pair of White's is going to be just as good, or better, at preventing foot roll as you walk that a pair of mushy-soled running shoes.
The ultimate test is whether you suffer from shin splints or knee problems when wearing White's -- both symptoms of excessive pronation, but both also potentially caused by any number of other fit-related issues, especially in a pair of hand-made (ie. potentially flawed, asymmetrical) boots with higher-than-average heels that weigh 4lb per foot!