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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Running Shoes Are Garbage but we don't know it

So I had 1 hr. to kill after dropping my daughter off at dance class
last night so I headed to a local running store a few blocks away. I
naturally went to look at all the traditional running shoes and for
whatever reason decided to try some on, and even run on their
treadmill. It was interesting because I haven't put on a traditional
running shoe in over 16 months. It was like being a foreign object on
my feet and I tired at least 12 pairs from Asics, Mizuno, NB and

Here's a few observations from my experience:

1. All the shoes feel really tight, with narrow toe boxes and too
right on the sides of my feet. My feet couldn't breathe and I tried
Size 10, 10.5 and 11 just to see the difference. No surprise why
folks break toe nails in regular shoes.

2. There absolutely no way I could run without heel striking at
various times. I'm a pure natural forefoot strike (not even midfoot)
and I immediately started to midfoot strike at best and at times heel
strike. It's just so easy to heel strike with 10-14mm of heel build-

3. My senses went to sleep as well as my nerves. I couldn't feel my
foot and the connection between my brain and feet was cut off. I
couldn't tell if my landing was bad and I couldn't receive any
messages generated from my feet as a result of speaking with the

4. I could feel the shoe trying to do what my feet do. Having done
some level of BF for over 1 yr., I know the natural energy return I
get from a nice soft forefoot landing and the energy one gets with
VFFs, Evos, etc., but in this case, the shoe tries to return the
energy as opposed to the foot, thus resulting in less energy return
and weak feet since the feet aren't required to do much.

5. I tried the Nike Free 3.0 and it is just awful. It's a weird fit
and the heel is still much too big and almost no forefoot ground
feel. I'll say this, the Mizuno Wave Universe 3 is still one of the
best traditional running shoes although I don't run in them. If I had
to run in shoes, I'd choose them because they still provide a best
ground feel of traditional running shoes I've tried and less heel

6. The arch support of most of the shoes actually caused immediate
sharp pain.

I had no doubt but this is further validation that there's no turning
back for me. No wonder I was injured so much in the marshmallow
shoes. How can a beginning runner learn how to run when the shoe
blocks all communication. It's like getting your drivers license but
being blindfolded and told to go drive during rush hour, in traffic.

It did energize me to continue this fight!!!!! It's just not right!
I look down the isle at all those running shoes of which they have no
data to support the designs and the shoes keep adding more technology
crap without justification.

Oh yea, of course I had to mess with the shoe salesman. I asked him
what shoe he would recommend for me and he said, "a neutral trainer
like the Asics DS Trainer." I tried it on and of course, I laughed
inside. I told him I've heard a lot about these folks promoting
barefoot running and what he thought. He said they are crazy. I
said, "I've only been running about 3 yrs. and my goal is a sub 20
min. 5k and did you think I could do that in a Vibram like shoe or
should I stick with something like the Asics trainer."' He said it
could only be done in trainer or racing shoe. I said, "I saw some
dude run a 19:20 5k a few weeks ago in some bright yellow slipper like
shoe, I think it was an Evo." He said, "it must have been a very
experience runner." I said, "interesting, I wonder who it was." I
never told him it was me!


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