Thinking about running here, let's take a look at footwear. There are so many choices!! Neutral shoe, support shoe, stability control shoe, barefoot shoe, minimalistic shoe, even a new french springy shoe! What do you suggest for your clients?
So we personally prefer to match the shoe to the whole body, not just the foot. The vast majority of clients we see are wearing footwear that stops their foot moving and as a result their foot gets weak and can't support the rest of the body, leading to pain and biomechanical responses up the line. We aim to get our clients away from the heel strike, because, as we have mentioned in various blogs a heel strike creates forces that the body can't dissipate. But now there is a new shoe on the market that has potential to change all that!!
You may have heard of the #Eenko_running_shoes .... now this is a very interesting concept. Rather than moving clients away from the heel strike these shoes embrace the heel strike, but using a series of mechanical cushioning systems they ensure the forces don't run up the leg.... interesting. 🤔 This brings a larger question into the foreground, just because we can engineer out the issues with a heel strike, should we? From a biomechanical health perspective, we are designed to run with a midfoot strike, the shape and design of the foot dictates this, all that natural shock adsorption from the joints, bones, ligaments and muscles means we can run super efficiently and without pain.
So if we heel strike, do we allow all those structures to work? Well no... therefore over time, if we allow technology to do this job for us, they will weaken. This is the same theory as putting a client who pronates into a pair of pronation control shoes, the technology makes this possible, but over time the pronation gets worse. A weak foot will create biomechanical issues that are nothing to do with running. Walking with a weak foot, causes the knee to drop inwards, the glutes to overwork in response and eventually the overworking glute is likely to create a pelvis twist, which in turn may cause back or even shoulder pain.😖 So what footwear should you use? Well if we had our own way we wouldn't wear shoes at all, but we all have to live in the real world, so let's have a think about this. 😀
This very much depends on your client and their specific set of circumstances, but we have yet to find a client that, with a bit of foot strengthening, doesn't run better in a simpler shoe.... the less cushioning, technology and movement control available the better. It makes good long term sence that the foot can support itself, with no other assistance. This is also often much cheaper for the client, as all this technology, of course, comes at a cost. They have to be replaced regularly as the supports etc wear out. Therefore, the less of this in the shoe, the less it costs and the less often you have to replace them....😀 Though I have to say the springy shoes do look very interesting and great fun and we would love to try a pair, so take a look at them and decide for yourself.
If you are using this for CPD have a go at this question:
Have a think about your running clients, how would you transition them into a more neutral running shoe.... what would you have to do strength wise before you could start to make the transition, how would you change their running program during this time and how would you explain why they need to change their shoe, to your client. Are there any clients for whom transitioning wouldn't be appropriate, detail why this is the case...
Then write it all up in your CPD logbook for reflective learning. For your FREE CPD log click here and sign up to our newsletter.🤗