Comment from: Richard [Visitor]  

For every action, there is a reaction. I don't run marathons so I couldn't say anything to the improvements a thicker sole might bring. Having grown used to minimal shoes, I can't imagine going back to the thick padding of a Nike or Adidas.

02/18/15 @ 11:26
Comment from: Marc [Visitor]

Interfering with the body's natural movement introduces complexity. The magic of minimalism is that the shoe basically doesn't do anything, and your body is allowed to be.

This is simple, not complex.

02/18/15 @ 14:02
Comment from: [Member]


Here's the thing: minimalist shoes are still shoes. They still impact the system of sensation you get with a bare foot. "Basically doesn't do anything" is by definition "does something." That's a variable that has to be addressed/can't be washed over.

The devil is in the details.

02/18/15 @ 15:23
Comment from: Corinna [Visitor]

"Think about a long trail race, if you don't have to think about foot placement every step, think how much faster you could be? Or with ample underfoot protection (rock plate, modest midsole stack height) you won't have to worry so much about what you're stepping on."
This might protect you from tiny, annoying pebbles, but if you step on a big stone (especially with a thick, rigid sole) you can twist your ankle. No, thanks, I'd rather keep thinking about my foot placement. Or let me rephrase that, if you train enough, you don't have to think about it anymore, your body does is automatically. Just let your feet handle it, they know better what they're doing, don't interfere with stupid executive decisions.

"So with a bit more substantial shoe, yes even if your form goes at least you have some underfoot protection to see you through the race."
When my form slips, the first thing that cries out is my IT-band, then the knees, then the neck... How can a shoe help me there?
As a matter of fact, my feet are the toughest of all. While the rest of me goes to pieces, my feet keep asking for cool mud puddles to have fun!

But the discussion is still about which shoe is the best one (for what purpose). Minimalist or maximalist.
Barefoot (i.e. no shoes at all) is not passe. But how would you measure that? By sales of minimalist shoes? That's not barefoot...

Actually I like the article (the NYT one), they keep emphasizing the form. And I like what Lauren Fleshman said, especially the last part: "There is no shoe savior coming for us." Amen.

02/19/15 @ 10:38
Comment from: Rachel [Visitor]

I run marathons fine in minimalist shoes (never quite crossed the threshold to pure barefootery...largely because I never quite got over feeling as much as I do going bare).

For me at least, if I can't feel the ground and my foot placement, my balance gets thrown off so a heftier shoe for me begs for injury.

My PT (who I really only see for the itinerant dry needling session) noted that the worst running injuries (particularly ankle injuries) he's seen were seen in people wearing hokas. He noted that the higher you are, the sharper the angle your ankle twists and because one can't feel the ground most readily, there is a higher chance of having an injury.

Granted he kinda wished I could wear a shoe with a bit more padding, he'd opt for continuing the minimal shoes I wear (NB minimus zero) over having to fix me because I had the bright idea of putting an orthodic in to cheat and keep running (which caused secondary pains) when all I really needed to do was just rest.

Bottom line is yes, shoes are tools, but ultimately listen to your body..the tools may be doing nothing but allowing you to keep doing stupid things by giving a false sense of security.

02/19/15 @ 13:36
Comment from: Matt Whitehead [Visitor]
Matt Whitehead

Everyone obviously has some valid points. Do people get injured wearing minimalist shoes? Yes. Why? Bad form or not sufficient transition.

Would those same people be able to run more miles before getting injured in maximalist shoes? Probably. Why? Like everyone has been saying maximalist shoes let you get away with bad form a little easier because they are there to cushion, stabilize, support the foot.

What is better for the person in the long run? Good questions. Comes down to what are your goals?

If someone wants to develop good running form and be able to enjoy running moderate distances at moderate speeds for years and years barefoot (or minimalist shoes) with a long slow transition is probably best because your bare feet will tell you very quickly if your form is not great or you are doing too much too fast.

If someone wants to be able to run a 100 mile trail race in 6 months maximalist shoes are probably the best because the more padding and protection the less energy they waste on exact foot placement.

If someone wants to run a really fast 5k minimalist shoes are probably best - it's all about light weight and skin protection.

Which one of these people will be running for the most years pain free? Probably the barefoot running.

The thing to remember with maximalist shoes (or all running shoes) is that they are hiding your bad form from you but it will show up as injury eventually - probably as chronic knee, hip, or back pain.

Those are the people I see in my clinic every day - people who have tried to ignore the real problem and cover it up with new shoes, fancy orthotics, knee braces, injections, pain medications, physical therapy, foam roller, etc for years until it just got too bad and they are in constant pain and can't run. That finally forces them to look for people who can uncover what the real underlying imbalances and problems are and they are forced to start addressing them.

Wouldn't it just be easier to find those imbalances early on and correct them to prevent the chronic pain problems? Just saying...

02/19/15 @ 14:43

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