RW article on "Minority" foot types



  • Mizuno Simon:

    "... you can not argue with millions of years of evolution during which the human skeletal system has evolved... "

    Evolved to do what? Walk about and climb trees to pick fruit and nuts? Exactly how have homo sapiens evolved to run? To escape lions? I don't think so. Who'd get away from one today at this (advanced?) point in evolution? To run down prey? Show me who could catch anything faster than a tortoise to meet their daily food requirements.

    OK. I've taken the quote out of context and its not to get at you but to bring in all the others who talk as though humans have evolved to run. I just don't think it bears inspection to say that running is at all natural. Its something we are CAPABLE of, sure. But if we were to rely on this trait for the survival of the species then we'd be as done for as the Dodo.
  • Daps take some beating.

    ..They give out some beatings too. Better to use them for running than for educating small children IMHO.
  • TF1 - I disagree - running was a very big part of human life for a very large part of our evolutionary history.
  • Concerning evolution, I'm not convinced that humans have evolved to run. Primates don't run very much. Neither do 'lost tribes'.

    I'm interested (but suspicious) on the studies showing that specialist shoes cause injury. What was the control methodology? Most football injuries are sustained by people wearing studded boots, but switching to smooth soles wouldn't be helpful.

  • Barnselyrunner is a primate, and he runs loads!

    Not sure if evolutionary debate is essential here.

    Research generally warrants suspicion I feel. Self experimentation is easy.
  • Concerning evolution, it could be that *some* humans have evolved to run, and others have not ie natural selection. This would depend on the need to run. For example, (do correct me if any of my facts are wrong), people who were looking into why the Kenyans were so damned good at running observed that only one or two tribed produced all their top runners, and one hypothesis is that this is becaus they had a tradition of nicking other tribes' cattle and galloping off into the sunset with them - this necessitating the need to be able to run quickly for long distances!!

    I agree with Forefeet Good in that the evolutionary debate is not essential, because it has been shown that humans have evolved to be able to do what they need. The thread is in fact about the way it is done.

    I've now read all of Gordon Pirie's book - very interesting, but he is completely unable to accept the other side by have a point.

    How on earth did he do all that training - mental!!
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Sassie's a Primate too, isn't she?
  • ....'it has been shown that humans have evolved to be able to do what they need. The thread is in fact about the way it is done'.....

    true - and for the VAST majority of the human species they have never needed to run long distance on a daily basis. Indeed in chasing on foot faster animals in days when hunting was the way of getting meat - 'relays' of humans were used - quite often at a walk - to heard the animals into a trap if stalking etc was inappropriate.(eg Native Americans)and then it was only a small subset of the population that hunted - the fittest young men...

    Those that run today have to train to do it and maintain that ability - but even then - the time spent in running (maybe on your toes!) is far shorter than that spent walking / standing during the rest of the day - which is when the full length of the foot and heel is used to engage the weight bearing /sharing capacity of the leg bones .

    Since running is such a short part of our lives - it's quite conceivable that we have evolved to have 2 different ways of using our feet according to pace - but assuming that heel striking 'is what you do in a walk and therefore is natural for running' could be working against this natural bio-mechanical principle - and its interesting that 'modern' running injuries escalated at the same time as the introduction of modern running shoes.....

    Having jogged / run continuously for 2.5 hours - and being a pure forefoot striker
  • ..... I'm just glad that most shoe companies do make a range of shoes that suit different requirements! Thanks Nike (Air Pegasus of course)
  • good point - I think that many people underestimate the difference between running and walking. Running is not simply fast walking, it requires a quite different physical skill which is similar to, but the same as, walking.
  • Pantman & co. - stumbled on this very intersting thread. I am relatively new to running but have done quite a few halfs and 10K races and always run as a "forefoot striker". With no specialist knowledge I have always used the Asics Gel 2080's and never had any real problem. I then went to my shop wanting another pair - they only had the limited edition black ones left so I got them thinking they would be identical. I then had a half marathon race a week later and wore them for it (after a couple of light mileage runs to get used to them). After the race which was hilly and I ran it hard I have a terrible pain on the ball of my foot around the joint of my big toe.
    Should I change the shoes? What type is going to be good for me? Are the ones mentioned in the RW article no good? Sorry for repeating some questions but any advice in lay mans terms would be great as desperately want to get back to running and have the right shoes!
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    It may be that your body simply adapted to a worn pair of 2080s and the shock of stiffer new ones in which the medial post is doing its work more effectively may have been the cause of the soreness. (just theorising).

    As you've probably seen, PM and myself have gone down the minimalist shoe route and are doing well on it, therefore I could just suggest the shoes we use which are the New Balance RC150s (going cheap at incidentally)

    To be honest I'd go for a pair of these or some neutral racing flats which are often on sale cheap and go for some short runs in them to see how they feel. Then at worst you have bought another pair of £25 shoes to walk around the shops in and at best you have found something that will really help your running.
  • Chaos - thanks for the advice. I have seen the Nike Mayfly advertised for £25 - are they worth a go??
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    Sorry - should also have said that doing 13.1 miles in a brand new pair of shoes is likely to cause anyone pain! So do keep the 2080s on the back of the rack and if you don't get on with the others after some time then consider breaking them in slowly. However I can't see that they could ever be an ideal shoe for an FF runner - all that "technology" is designed to guide a foot rolling from the heel.
  • Yes - I needed more than a week to break them in before a tough race. Even so, since then I have done 200 miles in them but the pain still comes back.
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    If they only last 100km as advertised, that's £1 every 4k! Personally I'd stick to shoes with a proper hard-wearing outsole that'll last a lot longer. Also I've read that the cushioning is actually fairly thick which could exagerrate any rolling of the foot and thus any instability in your gait. (Don't quote me on this though, it's just another theory!)
  • Cheers Chaos will have a look at the NB ones and some other lighter shoes - I guess it is all a learning process at the end of the day.
  • Mayflys are very light, but are still fairly raised from the ground - that prevents prioproceptive feedback and creates instability, IMHO. I would never run in them...
  • RW weren't joking when they said "difficult" runners :)
  • Come over to the light side of the force (plate), Muttley... You KNOW you want to! :-D
  • having been reading this thread for a while now and various others along these lines. I've just had a light bulb above my head and a curious thought.

    what came first, the shoe designed for a heel strike or a heel striking runner?

    Did the first running shoe designer alter the way we run, or designed a shoe for the way we already ran?
  • Don't know - don't care.

    I couldn't get over 40-45mpw without injury in motion control shoes - now I run in VERY light racers and I have just done 105-100M this week. Until the switch I had NEVER been over 50mpw for more than a single week. This is no mere coincidence.

  • you seem very defensive pantman?
  • Sorry, didn't mean to be. We get a lot of grief for trying to help folks sometimes...

    I figure that heel striking is not natural, FWIW.
  • No problems I don't get offened aesy.
    I think what you might get is that the problem with running is that not everything suits everybody.
    Forefoot V heel
    Nike V Asics
    High 5 V sis

    The one thing about this forum is that many people read what is really somebody's opinion, and than treat it as gospel and wonder why it hurts / uncomfy / feels sick when they do it. I realise the point of the forum is to chat about stuff, but every day i speak to people who insits that something is the 'new way' just cause it was on here.
  • But that is the whole point, JB - we are pretty convinced that the minimalist approach to shoes WOULD help everybody. But it takes time and patience to switch and most people aren't prepared to take the time...
  • I think it was RW that started the "this is the right way to run" stuff with its article.
  • Pants,

    Are you sure that raised shoes prevent proprioception? Your foot can still feel the fact it is touching down - you can still be spatially aware of where you foot it. I'd have thought if anything it was the sponginess rather than height from ground that might cause problems, if any(which might be linked to height off the ground).

    I'd like to see the research :)
  • Hey, popsy! I've done that 100M week we talked about a while back - rest week coming up, then I have 6 more planned ;-)
    How are you doing?
  • Apparently it does, Popsy, but I see your point. I wore racing socks instead of double layers yesterday and I could FEEL so much better with my feet - I honestly believe it made a real difference. Maybe I should start a minimalist sock thread... ;-)
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