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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Benefits to Rotating Footwear?

In the past 6 days, I've run in 5 different types of footwear: (1) barefoot (obviously not footwear :), (2) Evo, (3) zero dropped Asics Hyperspeed 3's, (4) Nike Free 3.0 (although they are currently being zero dropped), and (5) VFF/KSO.

I didn't intend to do this but I feel really good. Specifically, my feet/ankles/legs feel great which raises the obvious questions:

1. Is there a benefit to rotating footwear?

2. Should we all rotate our footwear? Other than barefoot, should we not wear the same footwear on consecutive days?

Someone on a different post this morning compared running in different footwear to running on different terrain. This analogy makes sense to me. If each shoe is designed differently which I tend to believe as I doubt any 2 shoes are identical, then would we not work slightly different muscles on each run?

I know it's common for elite runners to rotate 2-3 different models of shoes and I've read articles about how this prolongs the lifespan of shoes which isn't my primary concern but I've also read a few articles that such an approach can reduce injury.

The potential for injury prevention is my primary concern, so what do other folks think?



  1. What you say makes a lot of sense. If anything, wearing shoes does involve extra effort because of the added weight. I hadn't ever thought about the differences in shoe models, though. I think the important thing would be to continue to keep a quick, light cadence.

  2. Yes, a quick cadence and soft landing is always key.

    However, every shoe has a different design, mid-sole and out sole design, not to mention varying degrees of arch support unless you run in true minimalist shoes or you zero drop a regular shoe. These variances likely change the foot plant slightly thus resulting in a slightly different use of muscles and tendons. Keeping the body off balance and slightly stressed is actually a good thing.

  3. Unfortunately, I got rid of my Brooks and Nike Free's. But I still have a pair of racing flats and a couple pairs of aquasocks.

    One possible drawback might be the loss of conditioning on the plantar skin. However, one or two barefoot runs a week might be enough to keep that intact.

    I think it would be in interesting experiment to try.

  4. Agreed. One key, at least for me, is I have to
    "zero drop" all my running shoes. Additionally, if you've reviewed Dr. Lieberman's study, it confirmed what many of us thought which was you can run fine in racing shoes and traditional running shoes if you have very good form and technique. I can now run fine in regular marshmallow running shoes but I don't like the feel.


Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    My Blog List

    My Blog List