How do you buy walking or running shoes? Do you typically go to the closest big box retailer and check out their walking/running shoe area and attempt to flag down an associate to help you? Do you simply go to the clearance section, or the area with the most known brand name and pick the ones that look ‘cute’ (or cool, if that is your preferred term)? Don’t worry, this is how many people select a pair of shoes, once they have made the decision that either their current kicks are on their last leg (yes, if there is no tread left on the bottom and they are older than a year old- they are toast!), or, they want to begin a running/walking program to increase their level of fitness. For the most well intentioned, this approach ‘can’ have a successful result, but often, does not. Why? Below are several key reasons why it is best to actually work with a human being that conducts a consultation with YOU (yes, you!).
With a personalized consultation (called “Personalized Movement Profile” at Endurance House), we will discuss YOUR:
Intended volume and uses
Past/current injury issues
Goals and Objectives
Other related areas specific to your goals
After this, we will take a short segment of video to see what is going on with your running form (gait), to get a better understanding of your foot contact points, movement (pronation/supination), and other key factors involved in your stride.
The result of this effort and discussion is OPTIONS for you, which are selected to meet YOUR needs! People often ask do you carry “Insert <really large shoe brand>”? The answer is typically “No”, and there is a reason. The largest shoe brands, which have been around a long time, have been very reluctant to innovate and change with the industry. Some are better than others, but many still have a very large 12mm drop and simply use cheap EVA foam for cushioning, while steering the masses into shoes that offer “support”. While some individuals do pronate (roll inward) heavily and can benefit from some support, many people do not. Why? Well, they are neutral runners, and when they see themselves on video, they can clearly see that they do not pronate as much as they thought. There are many studies coming out that show little change in running-related injuries over the past 30 years, when the industry has pushed people to minimize movement in their running form, specifically their ankle and foot. For many, this immobilization can actually WEAKEN the ankle, stabilizer muscles in the foot, and related areas because they don’t have to work any more. These areas don’t work, and thus, atrophy.
What is ON Running? Who in the heck is Salming? “These shoes look like ‘moon boots’!” (Hoka One One) These are common phrases from people that are now learning about newer brands that are growing rapidly. They are growing because people are tired of the same ol’, same ol’. It’s now possible to get an extremely light shoe with a lot of cushioning, excellent fit through toe box, reasonable drop, at a reasonable value. Not only do these brands offer some individuality, they actually offer the results of biomechanical research with people walking and running (moving!) in footwear.