What to Do if Your Feet Turn Out While Running

Running Injuries: Foot & Ankle,Videos: Resistance Bands,Videos: Leg Strengthening
What to Do if Your Feet Turn Out While Running

Running with ‘duck feet’

We often come across customers who run with 'duck feet'. So, if you've noticed your knees are externally rotated and your feet are significantly toeing-out during your walk or run, don’t worry you're not alone!


How to know if I toe-out while running

One way to determine if your feet are toeing out while running is to stand in a relaxed position and take a few steps back and forth. If you are unsure about the position of your leg while running, get someone to record a video of your run or walk from behind. This simple test can help. Unfortunately, toeing out can lead to potential injury, as it can increase the stress on the outer ankle and knee. By addressing toeing out, one can avoid injury and improve their overall running mechanics.


Exercises to fix 'duck feet'

Thera-Band Resistance Bands

The red band provides medium resistance (5.5 pounds of force when stretched to 200% of its length); green provides a heavier resistance of 6.7 pounds; blue provides heavier resistance (with 8.6 pounds of force). Higher resistance bands are great for people who already work out regularly. Beginners may want to start with a lower one.

Shop Thera-Band

Thera-Band Resistance Band
Muscle Recovery & Strengthening
£13.99

Thera-Band Resistance Band
Muscle Recovery & Strengthening
£13.99

Resistance Bands, Mini-Power Loop Set
Muscle Recovery & Strengthening
£12.99

Thera-Band Resistance Band
Muscle Recovery & Strengthening
£13.99

Thera-Band Resistance Band
Muscle Recovery & Strengthening
£13.99

Fitness-Mad Squat Bands Set of 3
Muscle Recovery & Strengthening
£25.00

How should my feet turn when running?

Slight out-toeing is totally normal. Your feet probably won’t be 100% straight when you run. But it’s important to keep correct landing mechanics. If you’re a heel-striker your foot should land on the outside of your heel and push off from the big toe. Natural dorsiflexion and stiffness created by the foot arch and ankle give a powerful push off. If you run with ‘duck feet’ that efficiency is highly reduced. Correct posture during the movement is important for both injury prevention and running performance. If you want to run fast, duck feet slow you down and significantly limit the power generated during push-off.


What if only one foot turns out?

Our body will never be fully and perfectly aligned, so little imbalances are normal. We have a dominant and non-dominant leg, exactly as we do with our arms. The generation of force is uneven, which sometimes can cause over- or under-usage of the limbs. If only one leg turns out when you run, just be more focused on the ‘more problematic’ leg in your workout routine. But there’s no harm in doing those exercises on the other leg as well. Also, it might be helpful to have a closer look at your hips, as they might be imbalanced. Implementing additional stretching or strengthening exercises might be beneficial!

Transform your core in just 3 minutes (a day)

3 effective hip-flexor stretches with foam roller

Trigger Point The Grid Foam Roller
Foam Rollers & Massage Aids
£37.00

Fitness-Mad Mini-Massage Roller 16cm
Foam Rollers & Massage Aids
£10.49

Why do my feet flick out when I run?

Kicking out your feet while running is a body compensation due to weak adductors and internal hip rotator muscles. Think of your body as trying to move in the easiest way possible, which will not necessarily be the best or healthiest for you. If the strength of your adductors or internal hip rotators is not sufficient to cope with the reactive forces of running, that ‘flick’ or ‘kick’ is just your body trying to complete the task given by you. Exercises for improving duck feet will reduce that ‘flick out’ as well!


What are the best shoes for duck feet when running?

Usually running with duck feet is also connected with overpronating. Most of our customers with splayed feet need supportive shoes. However, fitting is very individual and there're plenty of supportive shoes on the market. We highly recommend that you to get properly fitted. We offer in-store gait analysis, or online gait analysis.

Here are some popular supportive shoes:

Men's Asics GT-2000 12
Men's Support Road Running Shoes
£140.00

Men's Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23
Men's Support Road Running Shoes
£135.00

Men's New Balance 860v13 D
Men's Support Road Running Shoes
£140.00

Women's Asics GT-2000 12
Women's Support Road Running Shoes
£140.00

Women's Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23
Women's Support Road Running Shoes
£135.00

Women's New Balance 860v13 B
Women's Support Road Running Shoes
£140.00

These are exercises that we've found very useful and want to share with our customers. But we're not certified instructors. Always consult your specialist before beginning any exercise programme. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

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