For years, Golden Harper has been helping injured runners cut apart their old running shoes. Yes, literally, cutting them open with a saw blade. It’s not that Harper and running store coworker and former high school cross country teammate Brian Beckstead were helping disgruntled runners achieve some sort of misplaced retribution for getting hurt, but instead trying to remove what they believe—what many experts now believe—is the culprit to a lot of common running injuries, namely the significantly elevated heels of most training shoes.Essentially what Harper and Beckstead were doing was creating “zero-drop” shoes—or shoes that allowed the foot to sit level to the ground without a slope from the heel to the forefoot—by cutting a triangular shaped wedge of foam out of the back half of the shoe and then re-gluing them back together. They estimate they modified 2,000 pairs of shoes over the past seven years with an overwhelmingly positive … [Read more...] about What’s the Deal with Zero-Drop Shoes
Cushioned zero drop running shoes
In the quest to avoid injuries, runners leave no stone unturned. Consider sticks and foam rollers; massage and chiropractic (and many other therapies); stretching and strengthening; anti-inflammatories and various supplements; diet and hydration.But the most common and most-hoped-for injury savior is shoe selection. Surely, there must be a running shoe that exceeds all others in its injury-prevention qualities. Or so many runners would like to believe.Unfortunately, research reports indicate it’s not that easy. The single best injury-prevention shoe hasn’t been identified yet. A recent study reaches the same conclusion about one of the newer shoe types: cushioned, zero-drop shoes, which have the same heel and forefoot height with plenty of cushioning underneath. “We found that overall shoe drop was not associated with injury risk,” wrote a team from the Luxembourg Institute of Health.This doesn’t mean that zero-drop shoes cause running injuries. It … [Read more...] about Study: Zero-Drop Cushioned Shoes Show No Difference in Injury Rates
"Okay, gang, follow me!" And with that simple command, Danny Abshire—all five feet, six inches of running-shoe showmanship—takes off through the streets of Boulder, Colorado, with 40 or so runners of all sizes and shapes and PRs following behind. Most of them don't know each other, or the man they're trying to keep up with. The only thing they have in common is the shoes on their feet, and for that they can thank this fast-moving salesman. At first glance, the shoes look like any ordinary trainers, except for the flashy neon color schemes. But those attending this Saturday-morning running clinic soon realize that the Newton—as the shoe is called, and which Abshire first started developing 20 years ago—is nothing like what they've previously worn. It weighs about a third less than a conventional running shoe but is not—as Abshire likes to point out—a so-called "minimal" shoe, the kind with the barely there sole. While Newton's heel-to-toe pitch is … [Read more...] about The Shoe Believer
Minimalist. Zero drop. Pronation, cushion, and motion control. The technology changes, but the question remains: what shoes are best for me? We answer eight eternal questions about choosing the right pair. And if you're currently in the market, we’ve also included a few of the 22 models reviewed in the Fall 2013 Running Shoe Guide.From the Runner’s World Gear Guide, one of more than a dozen free training guides available from Runner’s World.1. When is it time to retire my running shoes?Fall 2013 Shoe Guide:Mizuno Wave Enigma 3 ($140)A high-mileage trainer for runners with medium arches. Between 300 and 500 miles.Why the range? Because how quickly a shoe wears depends on you. If you land hard on your heels with each stride, for example, you’re going to wear through shoes more quickly than more efficient runners do. Keep track of the mileage on your shoes in your training log. And go by feel. If after a normal run your legs feel as if the shoes … [Read more...] about Common Shoe Questions
Running shoes are on a diet. Over the past 2 years, the slimmed-down barefoot and minimalist sneakers have found their way into nearly every shoe store thanks to the popularity of Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run and a 2010 Harvard study that touted barefoot running’s forefoot strike and its low impact on bones and joints.But injuries are rising with shoe sales, says podiatrist Marybeth Crane, a foot and ankle surgeon in North Texas. “I’d say that 85 percent of my patients get injured trying to transition to the new shoes.”The problem for those trying it isn’t the shoes, though, but weak feet and poor form, according to emerging research.Our ancestors’ way of running—landing on the forefoot—produces almost zero impact on joints and bones, the Harvard study found. Researchers videotaped runners on treadmills landing heel first and forefoot first, and measured the ground reaction force of each footstrike. They found landing … [Read more...] about Should You Run Barefoot?