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Intro to Running Shoe Categories Versus Barefoot Running October 26, 2010

Posted by shwaldman in Fitness, Technology.
Tags: , , ,

Received this email at work from our Wellness Committee Chair as part of our fitness program that promotes activity and gets people moving – a hard thing to do in work environments – if it doesn’t promote the job, it shouldn’t be done at work, or so goes the logic. But this is good program, because it tries to get people to recognize that little, incremental steps can make a difference in your day to day life and fitness.

Since I have only been running in my Vibram KSOs for a couple of months, I am by no means an expert, but I am quite impressed by my rather eloquent, off the top of my head, response found below his email, if I do say so myself.

Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:44 PM
Subject: Fall into Step Week 4 Stats and Random Recognition!

Hi Friends – please share with your teammates! : )

Below please find the week 4 Stats and welcome to week 5! Time flies when you are having fun exercising! 🙂 LOL Well, at least for me.

So what kind of enlightening advice can I offer this week? How about you let me know what you would like to hear about for week 6? Today, I will touch upon: SHOES!

If you have several pairs of sports shoes, odds are that when you bought them, comfort and style were your main selection criteria. However, about 25 percent of runners need some type of specialized shoe that is matched to their foot type. You may benefit from knowing your foot type before you buy your next pair of sport shoes. Feet come in all shapes and sizes, but their structure tends to get grouped into the following categories.

· Flat Feet
Your foot is flat if you have no visible arch and your footprint is completely visible with no inward curve between the big toe and heel. (Footprint #3)
· High Arches
High arches are easy to spot. There is a clear arch between the heel and the ball of the foot. If your footprint has a large curve with a skinny outer edge, or perhaps an actual gap between the ball and the heel, you have a high arch. (Footprint #0 and #1)
· Neutral Foot Type
A neutral foot type is neither flat-footed or high-arched. Your footprint will have a small inward curve of no more than an inch. (Footprint #2)
· Overpronators
Overpronators tend to roll inward from heel strike to take off during every stride. Those who pronate often need more stable running shoes.
· Supinators
Supinators tend to roll outward from heel strike to take off during every stride and need a flexible, cushioned shoe to absorb road shock while running.

Avoid injuries and select the right shoe for you! Also, consider having professional inserts made for your shoes. Inserts can relieve some back, hip and knee pain.
Information from About.Com: Sports Medicine

I feel obligated to comment on your topic of shoes. Recently there has been a big push in the running and fitness world for barefoot (or close to it) running. While many people do have structural inconsistencies that suggest a need for additional support for shoes within the different categories you note, the barefoot movement in part contends that the shoes may be part of the cause.

By providing the necessary support for comfort, the shoes may be causing weaknesses that result in further structural instabilities in the foot, legs, hips and back. The foot’s arch is designed to provide an important function of shock resistance – as the foot hits the ground, the arch should flex and absorb the impact that would otherwise reverberate through the leg up into the back. Shoes with a large amount of heal cushioning provide a false sense of security that this shock absorption is being done.

Shifting from heal planting to forefoot landing area requires an obvious change in technique to experience the natural shock absorption. And I must point out, that like any exercise routine, the body must get used to changing how it moves. The body is doing more work and muscles are more engaged. Shifting to this new technique requires significant training and time, but I can speak from experience that it is worth it.



1. buildefx - October 26, 2010

As a runner, I would say Vibram are really good running shoes.

After 2 days or running in them, i was sore. But the muscles that didnt hurt before were hurting. That means i was using parts my muscles now that i have never used before.

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