Saturday, April 26, 2008

Shoes are the problem....

Have foot or knee pains? Many of us to from time to time do. We often look to our shoes for the problem. Is the cushioning worn out? Do they lack arch support?
Well, the problem may not be the shoe, it may be shoes, in general. I have supported bare-foot training, especially strength training, but this article does a good job reviewing basic walking:
You Walk Wrong
It took 4 million years of evolution to perfect the human foot. But we’re wrecking it with every step we take.
By Adam Sternbergh Published Apr 21, 2008 in

“Wearers of expensive running shoes that are promoted as having additional features that protect (e.g., more cushioning, ‘pronation correction’) are injured significantly more frequently than runners wearing inexpensive shoes (costing less than $40).”

The sole of your foot has over 200,000 nerve endings in it, one of the highest concentrations anywhere in the body. Our feet are designed to act as earthward antennae, helping us balance and transmitting information to us about the ground we’re walking on.

Your heels hurt when you walk that way because you’re not supposed to walk that way.

(T)he impact on the knees was 12 percent less when people walked barefoot than it was when people wore the padded shoes.

Most shoes, even running shoes, have a fairly substantial heel built into them. And heels, we now know, can increase knee load.

The article also includes a nice comparison of walking with and without shoes:

What you can do, though, is stop taking walking for granted and start thinking of it like any other physical activity: as something you can learn to do better. Don’t think of your feet as fleshy blocks to be bound up or noisy animals that need to be muzzled. In one of the Rush Medical College knee-adduction experiments, barefoot walking yielded the lowest knee load, but a flat sneaker, like a pair of Pumas, also offered significantly less load than the overly padded walking shoes.

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