Mar 31, 2009 at 12:32 pm #1235209
In trying to develop a more natural walk and prevent my chronic shin splints, I'm considering whether my shoes are part of the problem. With the elevated heel of almost every shoe out there (from dress to trail runners), I find it difficult to make a neutral foot placement instead of landing hard on my heels.
I'm not ready to (ever) hike barefoot on rocky trails, as much as I enjoy reading all of Barefoot Ted's Adventures.
It seems that a good first step would be to find shoes that have even thickness soles from front to back. This would be for hiking on rocky trails and walking on concrete sidewalks.
Any suggestions? Have you gone down this path and found it to work or not?
JimMar 31, 2009 at 12:56 pm #1490099
@cbertLocale: N. California
i've been wearing these for several years now – used to have chronic plantar fasciaitis
they have a lot less slope than other shoes – i don't think they are completely level, but closer to it
i wear them for everyday as well as hiking/backpackingMar 31, 2009 at 1:05 pm #1490107
@pgibsonLocale: SW Idaho
I have always had a problem with pronating, causing me to ware out shoes really quickly. I gave these shoes a shot and wile they are not totally "bare foot" they are as close as I would every try and I have not felt better in any other piece of foot ware in my life. You get all of the bare foot advantages with-out the worry of stepping on a thorn or some glass or what ever and cutting your feet to shreds. They take some major getting used to but I hiked 8 miles in them yesterday with a full pack -20lbs ish and I feel good considering I am still trying to break in my feet. So Here you go http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/ I got the KSO's and really like them.Mar 31, 2009 at 1:08 pm #1490110
@pgibsonLocale: SW Idaho
They do look different but they are really comfy once you get used to them. And they really do strengthen up your foot and leg muscles so when you do ware regular shoes you don't have as many problems.Mar 31, 2009 at 1:58 pm #1490122
Earth Shoes! Hey, I remember the 70's.Mar 31, 2009 at 2:42 pm #1490139
I was more of the 2nd grader Wallaby set, but I remember them too. The internet is a wonderful thing and on it you can find people building a whole lifestyle around their integration with nature through their bowel habits (humanure handbook); barefoot living; or even backpacking with minimal equipment.
I want trail shoes that protect my feet from hard pointy rocks and city shoes that protect my feet from human excrement on the sidewalk and the disapproval of my bosses.
Earth shoes have a heel below the toes. Normal shoes have the heel above the toes. The natural condition has them level.
I also wear orthotics to correct a forefoot varus and rearfoot valgus… basically without the orthotics I walk like a duck and get sore knees and hips.Mar 31, 2009 at 2:49 pm #1490141
These might fit the bill. Minimalist shoes that protect your feet while allowing you to feel the trail.Mar 31, 2009 at 2:51 pm #1490142
So something like a Birkenstock.Mar 31, 2009 at 2:55 pm #1490144
I'm going to look for some of the Nike Free 3.0 at something less than retail price. Another possibility is cross-country racing flats. New Balance 790 came up in a search for "mid-foot strike" running shoes. Plus I'm trying to spend more time barefoot.Mar 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm #1490149
I got a pair of New Balance 840s that have significantly lower heals than other trail runners. I've used and I like them a lot. Very comfortable and excellent traction. They run small so needed to size up a 1/2. The 790s don't come in widths so didn't work for me.
I previously tried RX505 cross country runners. Also comfortable and extremely light weight, but no traction on steeper slopes.Mar 31, 2009 at 5:15 pm #1490174
Most running shoes are designed for runners who use their heals a lot. Thus they have a lot of cushion there, but not much in the front. They aren't trying to give you high heals, but that is the result of the added cushion. Shoes designed for tennis or basketball usually have the same amount of cushion all around. You might consider heading over to a Big-5 store (the land of cheap shoes) and checking out the various options. I know someone who used to hike wearing Air Jordans (basketball shoes). Those were high tops, but I imagine you can find low top equivalents (whether for basketball or tennis).Mar 31, 2009 at 5:21 pm #1490177
@robdevLocale: Pittsburgh, PA
I went on a largely fruitless search for completely flat shoes last year. The best I was able to find were from Inov-8. They still elevate the heel a bit, but not as much as many other brands.
The Vibram FiveFingers are quite interesting, but I haven't really enjoyed them. There's no cushioning so they're not good for long walks in the city. I got blisters when using them on gravel. Completely off trail they seemed good.
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