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By: Forrest Gump

Posted on July 15 2011

Some interesting points here – but minimalist claims are just wrong. FACT in the 70’s the average time for the london marathon was 3.15 – yep all runners – no joggers, fun runners over 40’s etc. Still a large % sort medical attention after the race. 2011 the average time is 5hrs plus and a simular % sort medical attention – but the intersting fact is that those who run under 3.15 hardly had any injuries – therefore one could say that ‘like’ for ‘like’ running shoes have reduced injuries. But that would not be 100% accurate – training etc.

Shoe design in my humble opinion has made a huge difference – look at the age group races now, look at the 80 plus’s running the London Marathon now. I spent the last 16 years working out which shoe is best for my customers – almost impossible, even using my two best tools – my eyes and ears, years of shoe knowledge and running know how plus slo mo video. I woulcould honestly say I could put you in the right area – but I will still ask for a ‘fit picture ‘from the customer.

What I cannot believe is how some medical professionals Podiatrist or Phyisos or whatever send their patients off to my shop with a piece of paper stating: ‘my client needs a Ascis’ No model etc – they have just sold the a £300 orthotic and they know nothing about shoes, some don’t even run. The orthotic are often rigid and made by (after investigating) computer that mirrors left to right – not even individual!! – and of course whatever I sell them will be wrong if the runner heads back to the medical professional stating the insole/orthotic doesn’t work. (Sorry had to get that of my chest)

That said I believe that the biggest factor in running injuries is ‘change’ – or the ‘rate of change’. If someone who wears a high gauge support shoe decides to become a minimalist and doesn’t ‘transition’ on distance or tempo – I would strongly suggest that they will become injured. Just like the man who shovels 10 sacks of coal an hour, 8 hours a day with the shovel in his right hand. Ask him to change shovel to his left hand and carry on at the same pace – he is likely injured.

Changing shoes requires a change in tactics – think about the ramp angle or gauge height when changing to barefoot – you change the ‘moment of angular velocity’ – therefore more load/strain on facia, achilles etc. Transition slowly and listen to your body – you will probably make it.

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