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Shoes: Function or Fashion

“Are my shoes cute?”  A question you may have asked yourself, or have been asked by someone else. Or possibly you have pondered the questions, “What is the best shoe for me?” or “What type of shoe should I wear?”  Although I think these last two questions are valid and are more pertinent to this article than the question, “Are my shoes cute?” I think the latter question may need to be re-phrased. The question more appropriately should be, “What type of shoe shouldn’t I wear?”

There are likely multiple shoes out there that will do well for a particular runner. As you are aware we are all unique individuals, including our feet and running gait. Shoe companies have had a big impact on what a runner will choose to wear for their running shoe; the newest model, the cutest patterns or colors, the type of shoe for your foot type, what the current fastest professional is wearing, etc.  Through the years you have probably seen changes in shoes, and some shoes have had drastic differences. On one side you have the extra thick Hoka and on the other side you have the thin Vibram five finger shoe (or even no shoe at all). The scope of this article is to talk about different aspects to consider when choosing a running shoe and how to use your shoes to your advantage. Read More….

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Vibram Five Fingers

Expert Panel Question???

“What do you think about the five finger vibrams?”


running shoes

We think that barefoot running is a tool that everyone should have in their running toolbox. The Vibram five fingers and other minimalist shoes do a great job of strengthening the foot and biomechanics. We recommend that people start slowly and use them only as a supplement to their everyday running shoes. This combination will add to reducing injuries and more “bang for the buck” in the time spent training. Good luck and happy running.

by Guy Perry

Owner of Salt Lake Running Company, a specialty running store.

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by on Jul.08, 2010, under Expert Answers, Running Shoes

It’s a Flats World! “Racing Flats or not?

By Brad “Dang those shoes are pretty” Anderson

In 7th or 8th grade we had a field day at the high school. I decided to run the mile, which was the final event. I was wearing some Bugle Boys cargo shorts, a Public Enemy t-shirt and my favorite Air Jordan 5’s, which I still consider to be the best Air Jordan’s ever released. It was a sunny spring afternoon when I stepped onto the rapidly deteriorating 440 Yard track, at Morgan High School filled with ruts, and more holes than a wiffle ball. I sized up the competition, and made sure the girl I liked was watching before I set off to remind the rest of the grade that I was a runner and a damn good one too. ;)

When the race started I took off “hell-bent-for-leather” as my Dad would say. Within 200 meters I had a sizable lead. I cruised along, to what I remember in my mind, was the cheering of the entire grade, even though in reality, who knows who even watched. I came across the line in a brisk 5:13 mile. Not bad for running it alone.

I got home and proudly told my Dad about my feat. He was impressed and said: “We should get you in some racing flats and see what you can do.” Up to this point, my Dad had taught me all I knew about running. But, with my expanding Middle School knowledge of how the world worked, I still thought: “He just doesn’t understand how light Air Jordan’s are.” I mean, it’s all in the name right? AIR! What is lighter than air? (Helium…I know. Get off my back, this is my essay.)

It wasn’t until a year or two later, when I got into High School, that I laced up his white and grey Saucony racing flats at a meet at Roy High school. “Holy Crap!” I thought. “Maybe these are lighter than my 23oz AIR Jordan’s.” Ever since that day I have worn racing flats, or spikes when racing.

Now, I know what you are thinking. “Why would a guy as slow as you, Mr. Anderson, need to wear racing flats?” I don’t need to, I want to. The great thing about running is that most people are just running against the clock. I want a PR as much as Haile Gebrselassie does. Let’s look at some of the benefits before we go into some reasons you would not want to wear flats.

Read More….

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by on Apr.26, 2010, under Running Shoes, Training, Utah Running

How do I heal a neuroma?

The term neuroma implies a painful, benign tumor of a nerve. Many people mistakenly use the term neuroma to refer to a painful, burning sensation in the forefoot (part of the foot towards the toes). In most cases the burning pain is a result of pressure on the sensory nerves coming from the toes. The pressure is usually caused by a combination of swelling in the metatarsal phalangeal joints (toe joints) and compression of the foot in footwear. The swelling in the metatarsal phalangeal joints is caused by overload of the metatarsal heads (ball of the foot). The shape of one’s foot, poor running mechanics, or muscular imbalances such as tight calf muscles or toe extensor recruitment may cause overload of the metatarsal heads.

To heal a neuroma you have only to alleviate the forefoot pressure causing the pain in the first place. A well-cushioned shoe of the type correct for your foot (see my article How do I pick a good running shoe?) can help considerably. A custom foot orthotic or shoe insert may also help to alleviate pressure. Anti-inflammatory medications may help to alleviate pain and swelling in the joints, and thereby, eliminate neuroma pain. Many patients ask about cortisone injections for neuroma pain. I do not recommend cortisone injections because they can cause atrophy of the skin and the necessary padding in the forefoot.

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My First Pair of Running Shoes

I remember my first pair of what I thought was a “good” pair of running shoes. I was a freshman in high school and the coach noticed my shoes and encouraged me to buy some good shoes for running so my Mom took me to the local department store to purchase my first pair of “running” shoes. The selection of athletic shoes was slim at best. As I looked through the few athletic shoes they had only one that claimed “running” shoe.

I remember the name of the shoes distinctly; they had the inscription “the winner” on them and were completely white – soles and all. Silently I chuckled at the name and resisting the temptation of holding up the all popular “L” finger sign on my forehead, but not being well-to-do folks, they would have to do. They seemed relatively expensive compared to the regular cheap “tennies” I had grown accustomed to wearing for most the cross-country season. So we purchased them. Although they were not your typical name brand shoes, I was still excited to have something that was new and better than what I had. Now 25 years later I have learned the importance of good running shoes.

There is a lot of hype lately about running in bare feet and I do believe that is valuable to allow your body to learn how to run efficiently with proper form. I can often be found at an outdoor track running barefoot and working on my form. I would have to admit that on a regular basis I prefer to wear shoes. Not only do they protect my feet and keep them warm in cold weather but they are comfortable. I have suffered very few injuries over my many years as a runner and I believe it is due to always having good shoes along with practicing proper stretching, resting enough, eating healthy and staying hydrated. I truly believe it is important to buy good shoes. Good is a relative term, but I am not talking about your department store “the winner” shoes, but your name brand shoes found at a specialty running shop.

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by on Mar.25, 2010, under Expert Answers, Running Shoes

How do I pick a good running shoe?

How do I Select the Correct Running Shoe?

Jeffrey Rocco, M.D.

Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon

One of the most important pieces of equipment for endurance athletes is their running shoes.  While the correct shoes can’t do your workout for you, they can support you and protect you from injury in your quest for a PR.  The wrong running shoe can be an impediment to your training, and in some cases may even be the source of injury.  Ongoing biomechanical stresses perpetuated by the wrong running shoe may also prevent an injury from ever healing.

In addition to proper sizing, the correct running shoe should match an athlete’s foot morphology (shape).  With regards to sizing, the shoe should fit snugly in the heel and should have plenty of room to wiggle the toes.  Feet tend to swell when running, and if your toes are touching the end of the shoe, you will probably end up losing toenails.  To check the length of the shoe simply stand up and place your thumbnail at the end of the longest toe.  There should be about half of a thumbnails length between the tip of the toe and the end of the shoe.  In general most people end up with a running shoe that is sized one size larger than their street shoe.

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