Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I shod the sheriff...

Today seems to be a good day for me to post my shoe quandaries. Last night at the YMCA tri practice we had a foot doctor answer some of our questions about feet. He talked about all the things that could happen to feet, and since you probably don't care, I wont tell you about them. I WILL tell you about what he says about shoes and running styles. Essentially, he says you should get shoes that accommodate your feet. If you have high arches, then you should get high arch support. If you have flat feet you should get shoes to help with over-pronation. If it hurts to run, then you should get shoes that make it not hurt. I asked about tri specific shoes. He mentioned that they will likely hurt your feet, and not help at all, and the drainage will not likely be a factor for anyone but the elite athletes. Also, he says barefoot running and near-barefoot running is crazy, and that running style is extremely hard to change because it is instinctual and you should get shoes to accommodate your running style, instead of changing your running style.
These are most of what I expected a foot doctor to say. I kinda feel weird disagreeing with someone about feet who does feet for a living. My contention is : try heel striking with no shoes on. You won't do it for long.... I really like my Zoots.

I also don't agree that you should wear regular shoes for training and break out your racing flats only for races. I say, practice in what you race in. If you have different shoes, mix them up. I like to wear my Zoots sometimes, and regular running shoes sometimes. I have my elastic laces in my shoes all the time, not just for races, because "Nothing new on race day". Plus I can just pull on my shoes. I am lazy like that. Who knows, because of this I may get injured, and in 5 years be a convert to the wearing shoes to accomodate my bizzarro feet, but for now, I am trying to train my body to work as close to natural as possible.

There is an arguement that "Back in cave-man days there was no concrete or asphalt." I agree. I still wear shoes. They did have hard-pack dirt, rocks, and other types of terrain that I could not even imagine like roots poking up and prickly bushes to contend with. I bet they rarely ran flat out, and if they did, they were sorry for it for days to come. They did not run flat out through cush grass or soft pine needle trails, either.

Anyway, aside from my ingrown toe-nails, and the occasional muscle soreness from super-bricks, my feet are fine, so I am going to keep on-keeping on with my current regimen. I.E. wear whatever the hell shoes i feel like. Speaking of which, I am going to get some new ones soon. These have several hundred miles on them, I am sure, and are due to be retired.

Until next time!


KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

wearing the right shoe for your foot type is so important. that was a rookie mistake i made back in the early 90's when i first started runing and bought a running shoe just based on color and coolness factor. i paid for it too, with plantar fasciitis. after that, i was educated about and fit with a "cushioned" shoe that was perfect for my foot. i never forgot that valuable lesson and spread the word to all new runners whenever i can. as a side note, anyone i've met who has done barefoot running or have run with vibram five finger shoes, has ended up with an injury...go figure!

Ryan said...

KC. I agree on the barefeet and vibrams. I think running barefoot in soft lawn grass is good, or on the beach. Other than that, not so much. On the other hand,I appreciate the way my Zoots have forced me to lean forward and be more "up front" while running - which is more aligned with what I understand is better running form. I don't know if that would have happened without them. Your thoughts?

triitagain said...

I agree with you about shoes. I wear the shoes I race in to do speed workouts or shorter runs. I also keep my speed laces in all the time. I need new shoes every 200 miles or so, but I like buying running shoes so that is okay.