Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Is it Pace, or Is It Shoes?

I was asked this question and here was my response:

"For me, running faster in the Mizuno's wasn't the issue. The issue was the Mizuno's have a 9mm differential between the forefoot/midfoot and heel (all running shoes have a differential as there is no such thing as a racing flat because NO racing shoe is really flat). This differential prevented my plantar muscle and achilles tendon from stretching and performing properly, as god intended. Once you naturally land on the forefoot or mid-foot, the heel kisses the ground and there's a point where the entire foot is on the ground then the plantar and achilles uncoils and returns energy as you lift the foot and are naturally propelled forward. As such, with any heel build-up, the foot can't function properly and that caused me more issues as I increased pace (basically all running shoes are high heels). Additionally, like almost all shoes, the Mizuno has a plastic device under the heel to provide heel support. The issue for me is I don't need any support and since I have high arches, the last thing I need is any arch support as the arch support prevents my arch from communicating properly. The nerves in the ball of the foot and the arch are the gating devices that communicate to the body how/where you landed and triggers the plantar and achilles as well as the bending of the leg/knee to stabilize the body and reduce the impact as most of the stress is handled by the arch for which it was built to do.

So this is a long way of saying it was the construction of any traditional shoe, and not pace, that caused my issues. The Evo is nothing more than a beefed up slipper with no arch support, no motion control, no ankle support and no heel build-up, so it allows my foot to properly function, hence the plantar fasciitis went away once I switched to this shoe (or course, barefoot is the best but this is a good compromise . . . actually barefoot running solved the PF and it didn't return because of the Evo). The Evo can cause some blisters at first because the entire shoe is flexible and bends like a water sock but I've solved than problem and blisters are minor as compared to runner's knee, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciits, etc."


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