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11580 Views 40 Replies Latest reply: Mar 10, 2011 5:06 AM by Wideguy RSS Go to original post 1 2 3 Previous Next
  • crl8686 Legend 1,302 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007

    I would certainly agree that most runners don't need the extra support that motion control shoes provide. The irony is that based on conventional running shoe wisdom and marketing, I'd be an excellent candidate for minimalist shoes: I'm an experienced runner, do mostly shorter distances, and am small, thin and have normal arches. Indeed, for the first 12 years of my running life, I wore neutral shoes with hardly any medial support. I wore them because I had normal arches, most of my running friends wore them, I didn't think I needed any more support than that, and they were the easiest type to get. However, I also found myself prone to recurrent medial knee injuries during those 12 years. Finally in frustration I went to a sports medicine orthopedist in 1995 who X-rayed my knees, looked at the wear patterns on my shoes and watched me run up and down the hall. To make a long story short, I overpronate significantly and have alignment problems with my kneecaps. (P.S. That was the "knee picture" that I drew for my son showing the misalignments). The orthopedist told me to get rid of my low support shoes and get into motion control shoes. I cringed a bit at the thought of wearing them, but I followed his instructions. Since then - and it's been 15 years - I have had no significant knee injuries. Yes, I am aware of studies that have been done on motion control shoes, and that for people with normal biomechanics - which is probably most runners -  they can potentially increase injury risk. But in retrospect, that makes sense, since a runner with normal biomechanics doesn't need motion control shoes.





    2014 highlights...

    @ 5K: Ontario Mills Run, Ontario, CA, 25:19

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:15

    Friends of the Villa Park Library 5K, Villa Park, CA, 24:10

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, Los Angeles, CA, 51:44

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 50:31

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 50:29


  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007

    We share a mirror image of the same story about running shoes and the industry.  I am a low-arched Clydesdale -- the "perfect" candidate for MC shoes which I went to upon recommendation upon suffering my second stress fracture.  My running suffered, which attributed to the stress fractures.  I dialed back to very controlling stability shoes (ASICS Kayanos), and my running did not measurably improve.  It was only when another pair of stability shoes gave me literal pain in the shins -- where I had had my stress fractures -- that I got brave enough to ignore years of "education" from stores, magazines, etc. and buy a pair of cushioned shoes.  I've experimented since then, buying lighter shoes, and have regained my mojo -- and some of the old speed -- since shifting over to neutral shoes.

     

    Barefoot running, VFF and the minimalist movement have served a purpose by getting runners to ignore the standard advice from the running shoe industry.  However, if you go to runnersworld.com, the online retailers or even most really good running stores, you will still get canned -- and bad -- advice.  I went with my 16 year old daughter to get her some running shoes a week and a half ago (she had outgrown her old pair).  The store manager said she did not outgrow her old shoe (HE DIDN'T EVEN MEASURE HER FEET!) because she was 16 and had "quit growing," and told her that she needed neutral shoes WITHOUT WATCHING HER RUN AND WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE WEAR PATTERN ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES.  I asked him to watch her run (there was a treadmill right there), and he had her "run" up and down a 20 foot aisle.  THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!  And this is what needs to change.

     

    Rather than focusing on weight and arches, the industry should start with "Describe the way you run." Trained salespeople should then watch the runner run or, better, take a video from the side and the rear (it's cheap and easily done) and then figure out whether motion control/stability is called for.  The salesperson can then look at the soles of the current running shoe to confirm or adjust the diagnosis.  THEN the salespeople can steer the runner to the right shoe.

     

    There are three problems with this.  First, it requires a massive re-education and shift in marketing by the shoe industry.  Second, it takes money to train clerks in shoe stores.  Third, it takes time to help each runner.

     

    I quit patronizing the leading local running store because the store owner, a well-respected and accomplished runner, insisted that I needed motion control shoes WITHOUT WATCHING ME RUN.  If he, and the rest of the industry, wants to regain trust from this runner and hopefully others, they need to quit using the cookie-cutter approach to matching runners and shoes.

     

    If the barefoot / VFF / ultra-minimalist movement impacts the current way of designing and selling running shoes, then I'll be d@mned happy.





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,337 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    @crl8686

     

    You've seen the video of Haille Gebreselassie, haven't you?  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAW87NsiGuI)  He looks like the prototype for overpronation.  It comes down to doing what works for you.  Would you benefit from some barefoot running?  Hard to tell, it might do more harm than good.  I started off running in whatever felt good, at a time when not much was said about degrees of pronation.  Instead we looked at arch type (high, low, normal), how the shoe was lasted (straight to curved, board or slip last) and the wear pattern on your current shoes.  You don't hear about those things anymore.  After a number of years, I figured out that what I thought was mild overpronation wasn't.  So I'm back to running in whatever feels good, whether neutral or mild stability shoes.  I have worn motion-control in the past with no problems but haven't lately.  I want to try something minimalist but first I have to be sure I have something that I can depend on everyday.  And a lot of the minimalist shoes aren't easy to find.  So for now I continue with traditional running shoes - just bought Mizuno Inspire 6.

     

    Len





    Len

  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007

    I had forgotten about how lasts were considered critical to a "proper fit" back in the 80s.  It's hard to find lasts even described in shoe descriptions now.

     

    While you are right about running in what feels good, I see three problems with that approach.  First, a lot of people can't afford to experiment with different shoes to find what feels good.  Second, without years of experience, a lot of people will tend to second-guess themselves and may even assume that running "is supposed to hurt."  Third, what happens when the company manufacturing a runner's favorite shoe discontinues the line or comes out with a new model that is different than its predecessor?





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,337 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    Good points.  I was more describing what I did than recommending an approach.  I usually had 2 or maybe 3 pairs at a time and persisted with some of them in spite of not working very well, because money was spent.

     

    I used to train in Asics Gel-Kayanos until they came out with one that felt horrible on the very first run.  That left me hunting for a new shoe and I have yet to settle on one, though the Mizuno Inspire might be my new standby.

     

    Len





    Len

  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007

    I'm very happy with the Mizuno Wave Rider 12s -- I also bought a pair of Kinvaras and was happy with the one run I've had in them.  They ride lower, but have plenty of cushioning for me.





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • Violina Expert 42 posts since
    May 10, 2010

    one thing I want to mention in response to crl8686's post is that neutral shoes are still nothing like VFFs/ barefoot running.

    I've noticed drastic changes in my running form since switching to VFFs from Nike Frees, which are also marketed as a "barefoot" alternative. they did a good job of helping me transition and strengthen my feet, but they simply do not compare to the VFFs in terms of helping you achieve a lower-impact, more natural stride.

     

    neutral shoes are still essentially made the same way with a padded heel and thick sole, and even scaled-down versions might interfere with developing a natural running style (for example, I always developed tension/ rib pain at some point into the run and had to stop and stretch a lot, which seems to not be happening in the vibrams).

     

    I can only speak from my own experience here but after having that wow! moment (THIS is what running should feel like!) I'm having a hard time just putting this all off as a fad. and it makes perfect sense to me that thousands of years of evolution should be trusted over what the running shoe industry is trying to sell us





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  • jp405 Rookie 7 posts since
    Jan 31, 2009

    I simply refuse to run in flippers.

  • Tedwood Amateur 8 posts since
    Aug 9, 2010

    Yea the vibram five fingers have been over hyped but being honest i would say the closest thing to it in terms of 'fashionable' running is the nike free run. The Nike trainer just says that it offers 'some' barefoot running features.





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  • Dreamstate Legend 278 posts since
    Dec 1, 2009

    Like others have already stated, if it works for you, great.  Everyone is different.

     

    My experience with the Vibram FF discussion is similar to yours crl8686.  My boyfriend wants a pair. He is not active at all. He doesn't run. He doesn't walk (for exercise). He doesn't hike. He comes to my races to encourage me, but while I'm off running the course, he's sitting somewhere reading a book.  But he wants a pair because he thinks they're cool. I have no problem with that. BUT, he's also presented this "high-and-mighty" position about all of the wonderful health benefits and positive claims spouted out by McDougall.  He's even gone as far to tell me that I'm running in an unnatural way. That's where my feathers get a little ruffled. But I've chosen to counter his argument with "run and see if it works for you. if it does, great! if not, try something new. but what i do works for me."

     

    In my last race, there was a guy who ran with them. I thought that was pretty cool. But I understand it's a personal preference. For those who don't run and get all preachy about them, I say "exercise THEN come talk to me about the benefits."





    Completed Races 2012:

    Rock and Roll USA Half Marathon, 02:54:26 (1st run POST injury)

    Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, 01:49:00

    ====================================

    Upcoming Races 2012:

    IronGirl Half Marathon, 4/29/12

    Frederick Half Marathon, 5/6/12

    Atlantic City International Sprint Tri, 09/17/12

    Rock and Roll Philly Half Marathon, 09/18/12

    Baltimore Half Marathon, 10/13/12

    Marine Corps Marathon, 10/28/12

    ING NYC Marathon, 11/4/12

    ====================================

    Personal Record from 2011:

    Teach, Learn, Play 5k, 10/02/11 00:26:57 (PR)

    Marine Corps Marathon 10k, 10/30/11 01:05:38 (PR)

    Baltimore Half Marathon, 10/15/11, 02:24:15 (PR)


  • Scrufffy Legend 252 posts since
    Dec 2, 2010

    I'll never be able to run barefoot, but I just started the transition to Natural Running. I can tell you that the original plan was to substitute a lower heel shoe (Newtons) for one out of three runs and gradually transition over.

     

    After my first run, I have not used the old style shoes since.  The lower heel and mid foot strike along with the recommended changes to shorter quicker strides and the posture changes etc made an instant impresion on me and my runs have quickened and my recovery is quicker.

     

    I'm an engineer and I can tell that from a strict physics perspective, shorter quicker strides create less impact and less up and down motion. The mid foot strike does have a better impulse distribution pattern. One can conclude that some types of over use injuries would be less sever if not avoided al together.  It may be in some way related to bare foot running.

     

    YMMV





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    Looking for a 10 k to run and if that goes well, a HM next spring

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    Jack

  • coolbikermom Legend 418 posts since
    Jan 25, 2010

    Dreamstate wrote:

    My boyfriend wants a pair. He is not active at all. He doesn't run. He doesn't walk (for exercise). He doesn't hike. He comes to my races to encourage me, but while I'm off running the course, he's sitting somewhere reading a book.  But he wants a pair because he thinks they're cool. I have no problem with that. BUT, he's also presented this "high-and-mighty" position about all of the wonderful health benefits and positive claims spouted out by McDougall.  He's even gone as far to tell me that I'm running in an unnatural way. That's where my feathers get a little ruffled. But I've chosen to counter his argument with "run and see if it works for you. if it does, great! if not, try something new. but what i do works for me."

    Wait...your BF doesn't run at all and HE's telling YOU you're doing it wrong based on what he read in a book? Your feathers got ruffled? Rightly so!

     

    I tried the Vibrams early on in my running. For some reason I couldn't get the right one to fit right and got blisters. I ran on the treadmill with them and they were fine for that. My first time trying to run 3 miles on the pavement, I hobbled around for 2 days after that. Too much, too soon. And add the blisters into the mix and I decided if I was going to try them again, I'd get a better fitting pair, and go much slower transitioning to hard surfaces. At the time I was training for my first 5k, and I was still new and stupid. I like some of the other's attitudes, that you can use them periodically as a tool and get whatever benefit you can and you don't have to have an all-or-none approach.





    C25k dropout

    Rock the Parkway 5k 3/27/10  37:40.6

    Mother's Day 5k  5/9/10  33:19

    Walk/Run for Isaiah 9/18/10 4.4k 37:26

    Harvest Moon 10k 10/23/10  1:08.50

    Great Santa 5k 12/5/10 33:22

    Carlsbad half marathon 1/23/11

    "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." ~Albert Einstein

  • run50yrs Amateur 30 posts since
    Aug 11, 2009

    Like most things, there is no one answer for all people.  I'm very skeptical about these shoes for most people.  First, you don't need to have them to be a forefoot runner.  Second, the vast majority of people pronate, but that's normal.  The problem is excess pronation, which is not detected by watching your feet, but by symptoms.  I've seen runners with severe pronation, yet they had no injuries.  I've seen people with normal looking feet with problems.  It's what's excessive for you that counts.  Third, if you don't need motion control, it will hurt you, since you do need some motion.  Pronation is your body's method of absorbing shock.  Fourth, forefoot running can strain your calves and it gets harder to do as the distance increases.

     

    I used to run marathons and farther with a forefoot strike, but as I got older, this became more difficult.  Now I use racing flats once a week on the track for intervals or for races.  This varies the stresses on my legs and keeps me used to running in flats for races. Back in the 60's, running shoes had no support, but I only ran on the track.  Then I started running on the road with these thin, non-supportive shoes and was always injured.  The Adidas "Country" was one of the first shoes with a real heel counter, which really helped my achilles.  Then in 1973, I got orthotics from Richard Shuster, the pioneer in sports orthotics, and my mileage shot up to over 70 a week with peaks of 100+.  I obviously needede support.  I still use orthotics and still use supportive shoes when not on the track or racing.

     

    I have not seen any fast runners using these yet, though I have seen them on several joggers.  At a cross country race this weekend, a very experienced runner told me he switched to these shoes and it cured his injuries (he wore spikes in this race), and he's been wearing orthotics and supportive shoes for years and always injured.  Maybe he got bad advice many years ago and didn't need them.  Who knows?

  • Dreamstate Legend 278 posts since
    Dec 1, 2009

    Thank you for the sanity check!

     

    About a week ago I attended the company holiday party and ended up sitting at a table with a good friend of mine who just completed his first ultra-marathon.  Two other people at the table participated with him and the man to my left was one of them.  We ended up talking about running through the entire dinner! It was awesome! He mentioned that he used FF to help train for the ultra-marathon.  He mentioned that they helped him improve on his foot strike technique but that was about it. He definitely wore regular running shoes during the ultra but the FF came in handy for part of his training. 

     

    Listening to his experience helped me to understand how they can be used in a 'real-world' experience and not based on a website or brochure.  It was an educational conversation. Learned a lot about ultra-marathons too!





    Completed Races 2012:

    Rock and Roll USA Half Marathon, 02:54:26 (1st run POST injury)

    Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, 01:49:00

    ====================================

    Upcoming Races 2012:

    IronGirl Half Marathon, 4/29/12

    Frederick Half Marathon, 5/6/12

    Atlantic City International Sprint Tri, 09/17/12

    Rock and Roll Philly Half Marathon, 09/18/12

    Baltimore Half Marathon, 10/13/12

    Marine Corps Marathon, 10/28/12

    ING NYC Marathon, 11/4/12

    ====================================

    Personal Record from 2011:

    Teach, Learn, Play 5k, 10/02/11 00:26:57 (PR)

    Marine Corps Marathon 10k, 10/30/11 01:05:38 (PR)

    Baltimore Half Marathon, 10/15/11, 02:24:15 (PR)


  • freeurfeet Rookie 2 posts since
    Jan 24, 2011

    Well to each their own.  However, what really bothers me is when people give their two cents on a topic like barefoot running when they have not in fact actually done it.  It's the equivalent of saying, oh I hate sushi without trying it.  How can you dislike something that you have never tried.

     

    I own a couple pairs of Vibram FF and really enjoyed running in them.  But I transitioned to completely running barefoot and will NEVER go back to wearing regular running shoes.  Until you try it for yourself you won't understand why barefoot runners or Vibram FF runners can't stop raving about this phenomenon.  Barefoot running just feels so natural.  Sure it definitely takes significant time to condition your feet and lower leg muscles.

     

    When running barefoot be prepared to get stopped and questioned by lots of people, who always ask why are you running without shoes on.  My reply is that I run barefoot to prevent injuries.  Obviously they think I'm a complete nut job but that's fine with me.  In my personal opinion I really do believe that running barefoot can help to prevent injuries because:

     

    1) your gait changes from a heel to toe strike to a more midfoot/forefoot strike, which is a lot less jarring on your joints

    2) without the protection that shoes provide you are forced to run a lot lighter and softer because stepping on road debris like rocks, acorns, glass, sharp objects, etc...is extremely painful

    3) (This is the #1 reason)  your feet are constantly giving you feedback telling you how much they can endure.  I gauge my training by listening to my feet.  If the soles of my feet are painfully tender or sore I know that I need to scale back my mileage and/or take a rest.  Although everyone knows it's important to listen to your body, by wearing shoes it really does make it difficult to do.  Over-training is a huge reason why injuries occur, yet it is completely preventable.

     

    Running barefoot requires dedication and perseverance.  It takes time for your body to adapt to a new running form.  It takes a lot of time to properly condition the soles of your feet so they can build up the calluses needed for protection.  I only run on the road/asphalt.  I personally do not recommend running barefoot in the grass because you're unable to see exactly what your stepping on.  The only time I injured my foot was when I was running in the grass and stepped on a sharp stick that punctured my foot.  Even though most people probably think running on the road would be worse, I tend to disagree.  I only run on the road barefoot during the day because things like glass are reflected off the sunlight, which makes them highly visible and easy to avoid stepping on.  I do however always carry a bandaid with me just in case.

     

    Well I hope I was able to share some helpful first-hand experience on the topic of barefoot running..... 

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