by Kyle Larson, Owner, Endurance House Madison
Heel Striker – Mid-foot – Forefoot – Natural – Barefoot – Extreme Cushion — Minimalist — STOP!
It wasn’t too long ago that “joggers” launched a running boom along with the multi-billion dollar running shoe industry.
At the time of this evolution running shoes were very flat with zero to 2mm drop from heel to toe. Funny thing – over time and with changing trends, those low drop shoes evolved into monster cushioned heels and then back to shoes with lower drops in shoes. And the barefoot running craze has sunset along with all of its injured runners.
During this “re-evolution” the follow has remained the same with runners:
- Our feet strike the ground about 2000 plus times per mile.
- All of us have a flight phase (when you are off the ground with both feet) unique to the runners gait.
- All of us have a load phase (the point at which you are balancing on one foot.) Some people hit heel first, some load on the forefoot.
- We land at 4 to 6 times our body weight with each stride.
- All of us supinate which is unique to our gait (outside strike).
- All of us pronate which is unique to our gait (this is also your shock absorbing phase and is on the inside strike).
- Our form, cadence and movement characteristics change during our season and our normal aging process.
- Shoes that are good for your friend are good for your friend! PERIOD.
Everyone runs with their own form. Your friend may be a heavy pronator while you are neutral and his shoes may cause more issues with your stride; potentially worse–her stride is neutral and you are a heavy pronator, which may create knee and ankle issues for you.
- Shoes have an expiration date.
A running shoe will last 300 to 500 miles on average. At 2000 foot strikes per mile with the force of 4 to 6 times your body weight all landing on the foam of the mid-sole, you will lose protection for your feet, knees, hips and back quickly. Rotating between 2 pairs of shoes adds longevity to both pair of shoes by up to 20% – 30%. Replace your shoes timely– don’t be that guy that boasts about how it has been 2 years since he bought new shoes. Your body will thank you.
- Learn to tie your shoes.
Adult or not, learning how to tie your shoes correctly can help relieve pressure at the top of your foot, keep your heel in place within the shoe and keep your laces from coming undone. Ever wonder what the extra eye at the top of shoe is for? The last two eyes can be used to give you 4 points of contact at the top of the shoe to relieve pressure and help snug the heel into the shoe. A surgeons knot can keep your shoe tied without creating a knot that won’t budge.
- Your goals should align with your shoe.
Are you working on forefoot or mid-foot running? Long distance running? Speed work? Learn about shoe options that can help you in your process. For heel strikers that are mild to moderate over-pronators–moving to shorter, quicker strides with a mid-foot strike may eliminate the need for a stability shoe. Moving to a lower drop shoe can help you avoid landing on your heel. Lightweight shoes may be the best option for running fast.
- Your stride WILL change – your shoe needs will change – get fitted.
Seeing yourself run in stop frame analysis will tell you about your needs. It is our practice to look at our guests movement profile with each shoe purchase. Your needs might change as you progress in your season and from season to season.
Want to learn about your Movement Profile or how to tie your shoes – stop in we would love to see you. Personalized Movement Profile is complementary, shoe tying tips are also free. See you soon!