RW article on "Minority" foot types

"If You're A Forefoot Striker…
You… land and push off from your toes when you run, rather than following the normal pattern of landing on the outside edge of your heel and rolling through to push off from your toes. The normal pattern absorbs shock much better."

Absolute nonsense! Can RW produce a SINGLE study to back this up???

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Comments

  • And they go onto recommend a Nike shoe with a massively built up heel! What's more too much cushioning in the shoe seems likely to actually induce instability . Grrr....

    The following is quite interesting in relation to this seeing as forefoot running is v.close to barefoot running...

    http://www.sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm

    Where barefoot and shod populations co-exist, as in Haiti, injury rates of the lower extremity are substantially higher in the shod population (Robbins and Hanna, 1987)....

    Measurements of the vertical component of ground-reaction force during running provide no support for the notion that running shoes reduce shock. Robbins and Gouw (1990) reported that running shoes did not reduce shock during running at 14 km/h on a treadmill. Bergmann et al. (1995) found that the forces acting on the hip joint were lower for barefoot jogging than for jogging in various kinds of shoe. Clarke et al. (1983) observed no substantial change in impact force when they increased the amount of heel cushioning by 50% in the shoes of well-trained runners. Robbins and Gouw (1990) argued that plantar sensation induces a plantar surface protective response whereby runners alter their behavior to reduce shock. The less-cushioned shoe permitted increases in plantar discomfort to be sensed and moderated, a phenomenon that they termed "shock setting". Footwear with greater cushioning apparently provokes a sharp reduction in shock-moderating behaviour, thus increasing impact force (Robbins and Hanna, 1987; Robbins et al., 1989; Robbins and Gouw, 1990).
  • Chaos,
    There are TONS of studies showing that shoes cause more injuries.
    Just got Phil Maffetone's brand new book on feet and he lists loads more.
    The bottom line is the more support, cushioning, bells and whhistles you shoes have, the more likely you are to get injured. There are multiple studies supporting this and NONE saying the opposite. The only ones saying the opposite are the marketing wings of the big shoe companies and those who believe their diatribe!
    GRRR!
  • I say you minority foot types should be shipped back to where you came from. You come over here, taking our prizes, and you can't even be bothered to learn to run like us. It's a disgrace!

    (er, I agree, the article's wrong)
  • minority?
    i prefer the term 'deviants'
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    So are you suggesting that we should all run in plimsolls, Pantman? Thought not.

    Given that we are not all (nor may wish to become) POSE runners, what do you suggest we wear?
  • Minks - I genuinely believe plimsolls would be better in the long run.

    Wearing minimal shoes and running POSE are 2 different, if somewhat overlapping, things. None of the ample research that backs up the advantages of minimal shoes has anything to do with Pose running or any other form
  • Wearers of expensive running shoes that were promoted as correcting pronation or providing more cushioning experienced a greater prevalence of these running-related injuries than wearers of less expensive shoes (Robbins and Gouw, 1991).

    In another study, expensive athletic shoes accounted for more than twice as many injuries as cheaper shoes, a fact that prompted Robbins and Waked (1997) to suggest that deceptive advertising of athletic footwear (e.g., "cushioning impact") may represent a public health hazard.

    Anthony (1987) reported that running shoes should be considered protective devices (from dangerous or painful objects) rather than corrective devices, as their capacity for shock absorption and control of over-pronation is limited.

    The modern running shoe and footwear generally reduce sensory feedback, apparently without diminishing injury-inducing impact–a process Robbins and Gouw (1991) described as the "perceptual illusion" of athletic footwear. A resulting false sense of security may contribute to the risk of injury (Robbins and Gouw, 1991).

    Yessis (2000, p.122) reasoned that once the natural foot structures are weakened by long-term footwear use, people have to rely on the external support of the footwear, but the support does not match that provided by a well functioning foot.

    Measurements of the vertical component of ground-reaction force during running provide no support for the notion that running shoes reduce shock. Robbins and Gouw (1990) reported that running shoes did not reduce shock during running at 14 km/h on a treadmill.

    Bergmann et al. (1995) found that the forces acting on the hip joint were lower for barefoot jogging than for jogging in various kinds of shoe.

    Clarke et al. (1983) observed no substantial change in impact force when they increased the amount of heel cushioning by 50% in the shoes of well-trained runners.

    Robbins and Gouw (1990) argued that plantar sensation induces a plantar surface protective response whereby runners alter their behavior to reduce shock. The less-cushioned shoe permitted increases in plantar discomfort to be sensed and moderated, a phenomenon that they termed "shock setting". Footwear with greater cushioning apparently provokes a sharp reduction in shock-moderating behaviour, thus increasing impact force (Robbins and Hanna, 1987; Robbins et al., 1989; Robbins and Gouw, 1990).
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    go on minkey, argue your case...


    Minkey (2003) moaned about the lack of a good update on the ds trainers, thus forcing him to have to look for another shoe in the first place
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    ah-got my minks confused-sorry!
  • Does the "shock setting" you referred to every cause either a) over-compensation of running motion and injury for that reason, or b) slowing down times because the runner is too busy compensating for plantar discomfort to focus on running quickly?
  • Good question, Rob!
    In my limited experience, I have had to slow down since shifting to racers and increasing mileage. It has taken some time (month or so) to start to adapt. I am currently doing 85MPW in VERY light racers.

    So (a) injury could occur when not allowing enough time for adaptation (is that what you meant?)
    (b) yes, I have had to slow down. But now that adaptation is progressing I am able to run at higher HRs more easily. And now by body is doing the shcok absorption!

    All change takes time and this, of all things, is not a quick fix methodology...
  • I'll tell you why I asked. I am a mild over-pronator and for the past few years have used ASICS gel 1080's for all my training - excellent shoes in my view.

    I have just bought some light racing shoes which I tried out last night in a 5k race. Now, they worked (I got a PB and won!) but I could feel the impact on my legs.

    My intention in buying the shoes was to use them in the forthcoming Reading Half marathon (prior halves having been run in the 1080's), but the racing shoes do not have the support that the 1080's do, so my concern is either that there will be pressure on my ITB, or that I will over-compensate and put pressure on another part of my joints and cause injury that way, or run more slowly and not get the PB I am hoping for!

    I certainly don't intend to use the racing shoes for training in regularly, although I plan to run in them a few times to assess their half-marathon suitability (which perhaps relates to your answer to a?)
  • (Rob - I know you're waiting for an answer from Pantman, but well done on the 5k result! How did the Ekidens feel?)
  • Huw,

    Very light, and quite comfortable. There seemed to be a bit of give when I was running, but my legs felt quite "impacted" at the end of it - but this might just be because I was running quite fast - I would be a lot steadier in a half marathon.

    I still have to decide whether to wear them at Reading - the question I asked Pantman is to help me decide - ie can I acclimatise myself to the shoes so I can run 13 miles in them without getting injures.

    This is quite an interesting thread as well!
  • This doesn't really answer your question but prior to adopting a forefoot technique I had already found that as I got fitter and faster I was able to progress from heavy high-stability shoes (Nike Air Structure Triax) to lightweight slight-stability shoes (Mizuno Wave Maverick) for training & was quite happy racing in a pair of Fila Flow (lightweights with a small medial post).

    Do your racers have any stability built-in since if not then even cushioned racers may exagerrate any pronation (particularly Nikes which tend to have a fattish heel air unit)? Something like the New Balance RC330s are lightweight racers with some stability so may be suitable if you have no plans to adapt to minimalist "flats".
  • I'd say maybe not. The soreness you felt tells you how much the 1080s are doing "their job" - i.e. doing the support work for you. Your feet are weak and cannot handle it when that is taken away. As long as you continue in the 1080s you will always be risking it with lighter shoes.

    Perhaps, you can make adjustments slowly and start to adapt. i'm sure you can. Timescale? No idea! I just took the plunge when I was injured - threw out the 2080s and orthotics and went down to racers building uo slowly. My only regret is that I didn't go lighter straight away - I started with NB240s rather than 150s - too much midsole creating instability.

    FWIW, the Ekidens have too much midsole and heel, IMHO... ;-)
  • My daughter used to run in 330s - both my elder kids do most of their runs in surf shoes now.
  • The racers don't have any stability built in, and I agree that cushioned racing shoes without the stability would not be any better, because preumably they would be heavier, which defeats the object of buying light racing shoes in the first place!

    Is body weight a factor in ability to wear shoes of different amounts of cushioning, or is it just fitness/experience?

  • Pantman,

    it is also worth noting that I have another pair of racing shoes (heavier, but with a "harder" sole) and I have raced them in races up to 10k with no negative impact, so if there is a process of adaptation to carry out, arguably I'm at lesat part of the way there anyway. (races in these shoes have resulted in tiredness of legs but no hint of injury) It is difficult to judge precisely what impact my racing shoes have, because it is a while since I did a short race in the 1080's, and what the impact is of running hard. I reckon if your legs aren't tired afterwards you haven't tried hard enough!!
  • They will be slightly heavier - for instance RW list the 2002 Ekiden as being 194g and the 2002 Streak (which has the medial post) at 217g. NB list the 330 in size 9.5 as being 235g.

    The NB 150s which PM and I use are listed at 142g for size 9.5 so only a tiny bit more than the Nike Mayflys and they'll last a lot longer!
  • Thanks for the feedback, very interesting

    I need to wear the Ekidens a few more times, I can't judge them on 3.1 miles alone.

    Nice laces though :-)

    I also like the idea that RW has written an article, and immediately everyone has jumped on it and said it's rubbish! That's really what the forums are about; the totality of knowledge and wisdom is not confined to the RW editorial staff

    Also, do people agree that injuries may not be to do with the shoes as well, but other biomechanical issues, and the shoes are a convenient culprit in certain instances?!
  • If what Pantman says is true, and it seems from all the sources he has cited that it is, then how long is it going to be before such views become "mainstream" - ie when running magazines and shops start changing their views, and manufacturers start altering their products? I run in Asics 1080s because I overpronate mildly, and was advised by Run and Become, and did some research of my own too. But it seems that these shoes, which are supposed to help me, actually hinder me by weakening my foot. Now I'm just confused - with the FLM coming up, and hopefully years of running beyond that, what should people like me do?!
  • Huw

    If I understand correctly, the research suggests an increase in the likelihood of injury with shoes of greater cushioning,
    But I think this is because the cushioning reduces the sensation of impact, hence people may be more "careless" in the way they run ie if there is no cushioning you run more carefully and get injured less.

    The research cited earlier in this thread does not state that it cushioning makes the impact worse, merely that it doens't make it better. I'm not sure that it "weakens" the foot - perhaps the effect is neutral

    If this is the case, then perhaps the key thing is foreknowledge and on that basis running in 1080's is the way forward. I certainly think for the FLM it is.

    I think the key factor in my lack of injury is simply *knowing* I'm a mild over-pronator, and having that in the back of my mind when running
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    So should us overpronators run in neutral shoes? (If, as is stated, wearing shoes designed specifically to correct the defect only serves to make the defect worse).
  • I actually really liked the article. I was very pleased that no matter what your problem, Mizuno Wave Rider VIs are the answer. As that's what I wear (most of the time), it saves me the bother of working out whether I have a problem in the first place, as I've already implemented the solution...
  • I think the main point we were making in Pantman's original quote was that the *foot* absorbs shock more effectively when it lands on the heel and goes through the whole gait cycle, than if it just lands on the forefoot.

    The debate of whether *shoe* cushioning is good or bad is a worthy one, but it's separate to that original point.

    Sean, RW
  • Sean,

    if what you say is true, why is it true?
  • because the collapsing of the arch in the normal gait cycle absorbs shock.

    Land on your forefoot and pretty much the whole shock of impact goes up your body.

    It may seem odd that landing on your heel doesn't similarly transmit all that shock up your body. But if you imagine that you're still in the 'landing' phase as you roll off the heel towards the midfoot, you can see how the impact force is spread out.

    Maybe a faintly similar illustration is the way a stuntman avoids getting injured by deliberately rolling when s/he jumps from height onto the ground, rather than landing - splat - at one point.
  • Sean - my understanding is that a forefoot striker can take account of the shock absorbing properties of tendons, especially the achilles tendon, which cannot be utilised by a heel striker, because at the moment of impact, the tendon is not under tension. Think of a kangaroo...

    Also, think of running barefoot on a hard surface. Would you heel strike or forefoot strike? The answer is that you would forefoot strike, to reduce impact shock. So the shock absorbing qualities of the achilles tendon must be superior to those of the collapsing arch.

    Lastly - your analogy. When the stuntman did land, before rolling, how would his feet touch the ground at the point of impact to absorb the shock? On the forefoot.

    Having said all this, I accept that for longer distances, heel striking may be necessary. But that doesn't mean that the shock is absorbed better in this way. It simply means that over long distances, forefoot striking may not be as economical.
  • But that's one of the main things we're DISagreeing with! When you land on the forefoot you will also be landing with a bent knee and thus the elasticity of your calves/quads absorb the impact. If you land on your heel, your leg is almost certainly straightened and thus any impact is walloped straight up to your back and spine.

    Sean - Could you nip outside to a hard concrete pavement and try running both forefoot-strike and heel-strike? I would be v.surprised if you find more jarring with the former. If not I'm going to force you to run round Piccadilly Circus barefoot at the next URWFRC drinks I go to!
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