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Running With a Leg Length Discrepancy: Help A Fellow Runner

Posted on September 29 2010

I get quite a few questions about running shoes and running gait via e-mail, some of which I can answer, others which I cannot. I try to be open and honest about my limitations in answering questions, and if a question extends beyond my range of knowledge or experience, I will say so. Such was the case when a I received the following question in an email about a week ago from a reader named Angela:

“I have a leg length discrepancy (LLD) of 1.3 cm (confirmed by leg length study with x-rays), and my podiatrist wants me to wear a heel lift on the shorter side at all times. I’m able to wear a 5mm lift without much discomfort however it’s starting to hurt my ankle. Is it pointless to wear the 5mm lift while running if I’m landing midfoot? I would like any information you have on LLD and midfoot landing or if you know of anyone running in Newton or other minimal running shoes who have a true LLD and whether or not they wear the lift while running. I just don’t want to ruin my Achilles or cause other injuries since I’m using a lift.”

As far as I know, I don’t have a leg length leg length discrepancy (I’ve never been tested), nor have I spoken to anyone who does firsthand. I offered to post Angela’s question here on the blog in the hope that somebody out there might be able to help her out. If you have any experience with Angela’s situation, I encourage you to leave a comment – she would greatly appreciate it!

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