Wednesday, January 6, 2010

more on those shoes

further to the post from earlier this week on the evils of running shoes, two of my favourite bloggers have picked up on the story....with a lot more incisive comment and analysis than I managed to muster:

first of all mc: Running Shoes as Single Factor Thinking

This is a post about Shoes not as evil, but as it seems a Great Feat of Misdirection. It's a wee bit about our biases towards single factor solutions for complex problems, and the arguments we will have around the Chosen Factor rather than pulling up and back to consider the wider view.

Then Steven Low has updated his fascinating post: Shoes, Sitting and Lower Body Dysfunctions

It is a thorough analysis of how many of the common orthopedic problems today arise from shoes and sitting, how to evaluate their development, and finally a look at how to implement prehabilitation or rehabilitative protocol to improve their condition. I sincerely wish that you will read through the whole thing even though it is a monster. I promise you will come out with a new outlook on this topic.


WoLong said...

Go to and see their comments on the same study (look for Peak Performance blog). Both authors of the article have stakes in promoting minimalist shoes. Talk about biases.
BTW, I run in aqua socks.

Chris said...

WoLong - mc addresses that point in her post:

This from an editor of runner's world, where the companies best selling issues are their seasonal reviews of new shoes? Likewise, Kerrigan's disclosed company's technology is not what's studied in the reported experiments. It's pretty hard to find a scientist who doesn't formulate a hypothesis or an objective before beginning a study. What was Kerrigan's?
Objective: To determine the effect of modern-day running shoes on lower extremity joint torques during running.

WoLong said...

Runner World actually has a forum dedicated entirely to barefoot running, so at least they don't seem to be that afraid of shoe companies.
I have nothing against barefoot running, as I said, I run in a pair of $10 Speedo aqua socks. We just need to look at most things from all perspectives.

Chris said...

Agreed, but I think that is what mc is doing

Jordan said...

I also wear aqua socks. Simple, cheap, flat, the material stretches around the foot. I haven't worn much else in a couple of years. I can't stand shoes with heels now, I just refuse to wear them. Water shoes (aqua socks, aqua shoes, whatever! lol) are very comfortable, but because there's no cushion whatsoever, I can sometimes "feel" how hard the road is. It's not painful, but I would rather walk on softer surfaces, which is probably a good idea anyway. I have an old slate road to walk on, and that's worked out well. The only problem is that the soles tend to wear out after four or five months. I have several pairs sitting around that I haven't thrown out yet.

I'm wary of the Vibram's because people have talked about having trouble getting the proper fit when ordering them online. I would like to go to a store and try them on first. I'm not sure if they're sold anywhere near me though. I'll probably buy a pair of Sanuk Vagabonds for something more "presentable" when I go out, lol. They look like a good design and they're affordable, as well.

Steven Low said...

Well, my article is "unbiased" since I receive no money from anyone.

Wish I did though. Then I wouldn't be so poor.

MC is a good guy. Have had some good interaction with him on forums.

Chris said...

Cheers Steven. mc is a girl by the way. I have great respect for her as a trainer and researcher.

Steven Low said...

Oh, haha.

Sorry mc!

Chainey said...

That's really interesting about the Aqua Socks (which I've never heard of before). I was bitterly disappointed to wait months to try Vibrams only to find they didn't fit (seems I have unusually short toes and the toes are long).

In a way I anticipated this when I asked once if anyone had tried diver's booties, but no one had.

Well, here's hoping aqua socks are obtainable where I live.