Can I run in cleats with a stress fracture? That’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run podcast.
One of my friends named “Will” actually used to say something to me every time I’d get ready to do something that was maybe not so smart. Usually, we were rock climbing or something like that and I would say, “Do you think we can do this? Or do you think we could do that? Do you think we go that way?” and he would say, “You can do anything you want as long as you’re willing t0 pay the consequences.” and that’s what we’re talking about here.
So, if your doctor tells you that you have a metatarsal stress fracture and you should not run, but then you call me to ask, “Can I run in cleats with a stress fracture?” That’d probably be a stupid thing to do.
But what we’re talking about is somebody who’s an athlete who is actually getting better, who wanted to train on the track and wanted to use cleats and he was doing okay, but he was a little hesitant and wasn’t sure if cleats would be all right or not.
Well, the bottom line is it’s not the shoe. It’s the amount of stress that’s applied to that metatarsal that’s developed the stress fracture and is healing and recovering when you’re returning to running, that’s really the issue. So, when you think about shoes, different shoes can apply different amounts of stress, depending upon several things. How much cushion there is, how much rocker they have, how stiff they are, all of these different aspects of the shoes can make a difference.
If you put an insert in the shoe that actually removes some of the pressure underneath that particular metatarsal that’s developed the stress fracture, well then it’s just reasonable to believe that you can perhaps run with less stress applied to that metatarsal.
But the big question is it enough reduction in stress to allow you to continue to train, allow you to run, whether it’s on the track with or without cleats? Is it enough reduction in the stress to allow you to continue to progress and heal while you train and maintain your fitness?
These are the questions you really need to think about. Not just “Can I use cleats or not?” What are you doing to actually maintain the reduction in stress on that metatarsal? What are you doing to make sure it continues to heal? That’s what you really need to think about more than anything else if you have a metatarsal stress fracture and you’re trying to run on the track while you’re recovering.
Now, if you like this episode, please share it. Please like it. Please subscribe and if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to check out the stress fracture masterclass, where I go into a deep dive about all these things that runners need to understand about stress fractures when you’re trying to maintain your fitness. You can get it at docontherun.com/stressfracturemasterclass and I’ll see you in the training.