Whats the deal on this barefoot running trend? Is there any significant differance in performance?
Ok I see the point of the new shoes. But with everything new there is a downside. I was reading at the new balance store about wearing a minimalist shoe changing your gait thus working new muscles.
FiveFingers stimulate the muscles in your feet and lower legs to build strength and improve range of motion. Our customers report an increased sense of balance, greater agility, and visibly improved posture.
But can you go run a cross country workout in these before actually adapting to the new shoe? Just like I break in new shoes does this technology mean runners now have to break their gait in?
It’s strange because some top of the range sprint spikes don’t let the feet/plantar fascia function correctly. Beware of that. There is a spring on the bottom of your feet.
Can you expand on this? For example which spikes? Btw aren’t stiffer spikes better for sprinting?
Damn it JC I hate it when you say something right! Lol jokes lol
I’m gonna have to go find my papers n stuff, but i remember Charlie saying he wanted his athletes to were spikes that allowed the big toe joint a good ROM
Also spoke with Seagrave earlier this year and he discussed the use of the toe in the set position.
Another challenging topic…footwear. Lots of opinions between various footwear – training shoes, competition/spikes, “barefoot” shoes (Vibrams, etc.) and of course…actually running barefoot.
And there have been few, unbiased (not sponsored by a shoe manufacturer) studies of injuries vs. foot type (under/over/neutral pronation, mid strike vs heel strike, etc.) vs shoe type. Obviously getting healthy athlete’s to participate in a blind study where a negative outcome is possible (ie injury) – well…the line of volunteers isn’t going to be long…
My suggestion, if you believe your daughter has “flat feet” and her footwear is causing trauma/injury to her legs – is to have a gait analysis performed. This will provide a good look at her foot strike and her overall mechanics (assuming they perform the test at different velocities to simulate her foot strike while sprinting/running vs. jogging). And if she’s self diagnosed with “flat feet” (I’ve had several kids tell me they have flat feet – because there parents told them they did – not because they’ve actually had their feet examined by a professional) – get it confirmed by a professional (and this may not be the family doctor).
Just my thoughts…
Sprint spikes tend to be very light and offer little cushioning or support. While training in spikes is often warranted – hopefully her coach manages the kids footwear and has them train in trainers/flats vs. always in spikes and includes barefoot work on the grass or in the sand pits.
Keep in mind that some issues that manifest themselves as lower leg injuries have their origin much higher – including in the hip areas or from faulty posture and/or mechanics.
While have low or flat arches can be problematic – and make her footwear sensitive – I suspect other athletes may have similar foot structures and yet do not have lower leg injuries. And kids with normal arches can still get “shin splints” and foot problems because of the other reasons I sighted above.
Again, I think a gait analysis would be helpful in diagnosing the underlying causes – either by identifying or excluding other factors.
If this sounds like I’ve “been there, done that”…it’s because I have:) My daughter also has suspect arches – and has struggled (and continues to do so) with “shin splints” (medial tibial stress syndrome). We started with the family doctor, then a physical therapist, then orthopedic surgeon, etc.
Ultimately – after recovering from a stress fracture in her right tibia – we had a “gait analysis” performed in the running lab at UW-Madison. They use a high speed treadmill and multiple high speed digital video cameras to capture her gait and running mechanics. It was clear from the video that there was asymmetry between her left and right foot strikes. Her right foot strike was beyond (crossed over) her body center-line vs landing under her COM (as did her left). One camera captured just her foot strikes (from behind) – allowing a great view of the “outside” to “inside” foot strike/roll. However, because the foot was beyond her center-line – the foot “over-pronated” (excessive roll). You could see the shin angles were different as well – creating a bending force on the tibia (because of the tilted shin angle at foot strike). Think of taking a stick – putting one end on the ground – then pushing down on the top of the stick causing the stick to bend/break.
The diagnosis was that she needed to focus on improving the strength in her gluteus medius muscle (hip abductor). The thought being that by improving the strength of this muscle – she’d have better control of her swinging leg – pulling it back under her COM.
She also runs with excessive anterior pelvic tilt (butt out – arched back) – which exacerbates this issue.
Bottom line – in my daughters case – no change in footwear or orthotic (and all shoes have an orthotic component) was going to correct or offset this bio-mechanical issue/error.
Hope that helps…
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