** This is a post I pre-wrote before my surgery! I am getting better each day and I hope to write an updated health post soon. For now though, I am following doctors orders and getting plenty of rest! **
Have you seen the Nike Commercial where a long distance couple decides to run across the country to each other? The guy can’t keep running and quits before he is out of the city, while the girl casually crosses the country in her super cute new NIKE- FREE minimalist running shoes?This makes me want to run. and run. and run. I miss running 🙂
I adore this commercial and it makes me want to have new cute, minimalist light running shoes.
The problem is my feet are pretty attached to my Mizunos (Wave Rider & Wave Precision) and I’m afraid to rock to boat by making a switch. But even my Mizunos have been redoing their designs to make them a little lighter and match the new minimalist running shoe trend.
So, I’m curious? What’s the deal with the new, lighter shoes? Will they help my running?
So, I asked my friend Scott Socha, a Certified Pedorthist and co-owner of one of our awesome local running shoe store, Foot RX to help me out.
If you need running shoes you should get fitted by a running store like Foot RX! You can prevent all sorts of problems by taking this simple step!
The following is a little Q & A on this new running shoe trend…
Julie: There has been a recent movement to make running shoes lighter and with less padding. What is the idea behind doing this?
Scott: Lighter simply feels better and is easier on the body.
It used to be when I started in this industry that runners were weary of light shoes and viewed them as not protective enough. Also the industry has had advances in manufacturing and materials over the years which has resulted in shedding unneeded ounces.
Julie: What’s the difference between the shoes with the actual toes built in and these new lighter minimalist running shoes?
Scott: The main difference is that with the toes being separated there is material between them. Most brands now that do not wrap each toe individually offer an anatomically shaped forefoot and enough flexibility that each ray (a ray is a metatarsal bones and toe together) individual movement. So the difference is minimal and comes down to personal preference.
Julie: Are minimalist shoes for everyone?
Scott: NO! I feel that our position is clear as we are not entrenched deep in either camp. (support or minimalism) It is our job to fit based on a persons activity, history in footwear, foot strength and capability, as well as their goals.
Example is if someone comes in with a diagnosis of Post Tibial Tendon disorder at a progressed stage then we need to support their arch to take tension off of that tendon.
However, we do believe that less is more if a person is up to it and are not quick to put people in a lot of support or orthotics with out a need.
On that note minimalism has many options and a lot of them offer some padding from the road and still protect that foot from impact.
We tend to like the shoes more often from the middle of the spectrum. Light enough while still protecting our athletes.
Julie: What precautions do you need to take before switching to them?
Scott: The data collected and shared at the Pedorthic Footwear Conference pointed out the two main injuries which can both be avoided.
#1- achilles tendonitis. When the foot lands mid foot or forefoot there is tension on the achilles tendon as it lowers the heal to the ground that is not there when you land on your heal.
For both heal stickers and forefoot strikers there is tension on the achilles as it raised the heal in the toe off phase. This double action means double the work load on the achilles so if someone is changing form and shoes they should be advised to cut mileage back to less than half and then ramp back up slowly.
#2- metatarsalgia (inflammation and irritation of the metatarsal heads) This is a result of added impact on the bottom of the foot along the outside. It is my strong opinion that surface (cement vs packed dirt) and milage are a direct result of this.
Julie: Many people are even running barefoot! As someone who sells shoes, how do you feel about this?
Scott: I wouldn’t say “many” but the few that do seem to draw a lot of attention. The damage that can be done by this can be life long. Injury, wounds, infection are all dangers.
In the book born to run they were not barefoot they wore simple sandals. It is a crazy notion in my opinion and as someone who treats hurt feet for a living I do not recommend it.
Julie: What are some of the newest, lightest shoes you have for spring? Anything cute?
Scott: Our selection of minimal product is ever increasing and colors are in more than ever. Cute is hard for me to peg as I would defer that opinion to you as I believe you to be an expert in that department.
Minimal lines include shoes from Brooks, NB, Merrell, Nike, Innov-8, Saucony, Mizuno. and more
CUTE? I’ve got that covered! How about these?
THANK YOU Scott for helping us learn a little more about this new style of running shoe! If you have ANY questions about which running shoes you should be wearing, make sure to check out a specialized store like FOOT RX! HERE IS A LINK TO THEIR WEBISTE!