From early in the development process, the body's two halves develop independently. As they develop, usually they will be very similar and almost identical. But since they are independent, each individual has eyes that are different sizes, nostrils that are different sizes and ears that are different sizes. This difference can also be seen in different size feet and legs. In many individuals this may be without problems, but in a runner this matters.
Which foot is larger?
- When fitting shoes, ensure that you know which foot is larger and fit that foot especially. A shoe that is too small (even for one foot) will predispose a runner to more injuries from loss of toenails, to ingrown toenails, to blisters and even stress fractures. Check your feet and fit both feet to the shoes, especially the larger foot.
Which leg is longer?
- If the leg length difference is only minor, you will often not notice any difference and can continue to run without difficulty.
- If one leg is longer, it is important to understand this and modify your training as necessary. Do you need a heel lift to even the legs and reduce the pronation force on the shorter leg? Do you need to switch sides of the road you run on so the longer leg is on the down side of the road? Is the pain you currently have when running due to the leg length difference.
Although these differences are normal, injury and pain can be the result of not recognizing even the smallest foot or leg length differences.