Do your ankles ache or sting after a run? There's probably a simple explanation. Taking care of the cause of ankle pain now, rather than continuing to run on aching ankles, will prevent you from developing more severe injuries. Here's a look at three of the most common causes of ankle pain in runners, and what you can do about them.


When you land, your foot should "roll" slightly inward at the ankle. Many people's feet roll in a bit too far, and this places excessive stress on the ankle joint. Known as overpronation, this issue is most common in new runners, and mild cases tend to correct themselves as runners gain experience. In the meantime, however, it's important to correct for overpronation by wearing the right shoes—ones with more cushioning on the inside to prevent the foot from rolling too far inward.

To determine whether you overpronate, examine your current running shoes. Are they substantially more worn on the inside than on the outside of the soles? Then, you overpronate. Visit your local running store and look for a stability shoe made especially for athletes with this issue.

Running Only on Hard Surfaces

Surely, there is nothing wrong with running on concrete or asphalt from time to time, but if you're doing all of your runs on the roar or sidewalk, this is probably contributing to your ankle pain. Asphalt and concrete are really hard, so running on them is stressful on your joints. Try switching it up and running on trails or the track a few times per week.

Weak Ankle Muscles

Especially if you're new to running, the muscles in your ankles may simply not be strong enough to keep up with the demands of running yet. You can help them along by adding some simple strengthening exercises to your training regimen. Do toe raises, which simple involve standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and then rising up onto your toes for a few seconds. Do 20 to 30 toe raises each day.

If your ankle soreness is more than a dull ache, you may want to take a few days off from running to recover before you follow the tips above. Remember to seek treatment from a podiatrist if your ankle pain does not resolve itself within a week of rest or gentle training. There is a possibility you are suffering from a more substantial injury, such as a stress fracture or tendonitis.

Resources like Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine can ensure you obtain the proper treatment.