Running shoes

njrick1

Level 5 Valued Member
Hello Strongfirst,

While minimal shoes are recommended for strength training, I would be curious to hear Strongfirst opinions on traditional running shoes when one is actually running While( relatively short distance). running isn't a traditional strong first practice, it seems that many here do and Id love to here your thoughts on traditional shoes to protect the body from a potentially damaging exercise.

Thanks!
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Hello Strongfirst,

While minimal shoes are recommended for strength training, I would be curious to hear Strongfirst opinions on traditional running shoes when one is actually running While( relatively short distance). running isn't a traditional strong first practice, it seems that many here do and Id love to here your thoughts on traditional shoes to protect the body from a potentially damaging exercise.

Thanks!
You are very likely to get a continuum of opinions here.
Some folks recommend minimalist or zero drop shoes for running, and some like me will opt for a more or less traditional running shoe.
There might also be differing recommendations based upon the terrain you are running on. (Roads vs rugged trails for instance...)

"relatively short distance" is in itself relative. My perception of that is most likely to be different than yours...

And please note that MOST exercise is potentially damaging; it's not restricted to running... It all depends on how one approaches it...
 

Tim Randolph

Level 7 Valued Member
I have been a recreational runner for close to 20 years after life and work made it too hard to keep playing field sports. About 5 years into becoming a runner, I had permanently sore knees and really didn’t feel like running was a net positive.

A few years later, minimalist shoes came out. I had mostly played ultimate barefoot so these really appealed to me. I tried them out running and the knee pain was gone. So for me at least minimalist shoes are key to being a runner.

For everyone they are a lot more self-regulating than conventional running shoes and promote a more “natural” stride. But this doesn’t mean everyone should wear minimalist shoes for running. There are runners with the opposite story of mine. So even though I believe in the theory and they work for me, I won’t make a blanket recommendation.
 

vegpedlr

Level 6 Valued Member
The ones that fit.

I’ve always run in traditional Asics and Mizuno because I have Japanese shaped feet, though I’ve had a couple of good Adidas.

A specialty running shop is a good resource.

ETA
A great many conventional shoes are based on “stability” and motion control because so many people have problems with over pronation. Not me. If anything I may over supinate. So lighter, more flexible, neutral, almost racing flat shoes work best for me, even though I’m slow. What we used to call minimally back in the day.
 
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Kate Hardy

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I second what @vegpedlr said about a specialty running shop...find one that puts the shoes on and then watches you run around the block or down the street a ways.

Got fitted in Brooks that way almost 20 years ago and still wear Brooks to this day. Strayed once or twice because something new and shiny caught my eye but I always regretted it. Including my attempt at minimalist shoes that killed my Achilles.

Another tidbit that any good running shoe store will know: your running shoe size will likely be 1-1.5 sizes bigger than your average shoes and not all brands size the same. (Mizunos run small.) And you shouldn’t have to “break” running shoes in. They should feel good out of the box.

Formerly a high mileage runner of decent speed, all distances. Now an “average” mileage runner.

Kate
 

Karl

Level 6 Valued Member
I am a convert but not a evangelist to wide toe box no drop shoes. I have very wide feet, my fire boots a US 9.5 FFF width. When I switch to Altra things improved for me. I made the switch for the wide toe box, the no heal drop came with it. My gate changed from a heal strike to a fore foot strike. Whatever the reason my knees and hamstrings where much happier putting in some miles. I was a Brooks stability shoe before the switch.

I do not run for my hobby like the above posters. I run because its a pt for my job. To each their own, do what works for you.
 

Bret S.

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I walk, work, run and train either barefoot or in minimal shoes. It can take years to become accustomed to for some, you have to start in small doses and slowly increase stimulus to remodel tissue where they'll work for you.

These days if I step into a pair of regular shoes I feel like I'm walking on an unstable, pillowy ball of foam and my body instantly recoils.
 

njrick1

Level 5 Valued Member
I walk, work, run and train either barefoot or in minimal shoes. It can take years to become accustomed to for some, you have to start in small doses and slowly increase stimulus to remodel tissue where they'll work for you.

These days if I step into a pair of regular shoes I feel like I'm walking on an unstable, pillowy ball of foam and my body instantly recoils.
I know the feeling! I just got my first traditional pair in years today and the feeling is strange but comfortable. I plan on only using them for long runs.
 

Bret S.

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I know the feeling! I just got my first traditional pair in years today and the feeling is strange but comfortable. I plan on only using them for long runs.
I do it kinda backwards with shoes, first off I hate running on hardball surfaces.. but If I have to I wear Merrill trail gloves as they have a bit more padding, then I wear the Merrell vapor gloves on the trail (usually). I also have a nice pair of Inov8 crossfit shoes which work on any surface.
Eventually I'll adapt to Vapor gloves on the hard surfaces, I've done it but don't want to push the bar too much.

Mostly I trail run, then comes grass and beach running which I enjoy quite a bit. I'll be relocating soon to an area near a gentle sloping beach that goes for miles.

The max drop in any shoe I have is 2 mm, which is pretty minimal. Mostly I'm in very thin soled minimal shoes with zero drop.
 

Harald Motz

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
2019-10-29 15.40.26.png
my alltime favourite for every activity, lifting, rowing, running. Currently I have 4 or 5 pairs of them. Makes my future decision consideration quite simple.

I run in them, on the street and trails. Usually around 10km and jogged in the late spring a training marathon in them.
I developed a forefoot stride years ago, never peoblems with knees, the calf and achilles take some longer time to be getting used to it.

potentially damaging exercise.
And please note that MOST exercise is potentially damaging; it's not restricted to running... It all depends on how one approaches it..
The approach is a very important aspect. In my opinion the most sound and foolproove method/approach is 'slow jogging'

Jogging as a 'natural' 'minimal' 'fundamental' 'reset' 'cross movement pattern' 'mitochondrial' 'endocanabinoid prodocing' 'anti aging' 'muscle preserving' 'mambo jambo' ...activity must not be the thing for broomsticks only although that helps for running performance.

My weight is around 85kg on 178cm, probably not the runners built.

I actually run for aerobic development, relaxation and recovery.

There are some good rule of thumbs:
- hr between 115bpm and 135 (mostly depending ob length)
- at around 120bpm (two beats per second) the heart gets a good towards max dilation and almost complete ejection of the containing blood
- the lower the intensity, the more on the fat/carbs continuum it goes towards fat in the use of substrates
- lower intensities/hr train the 'slow fibers' mitochondria which can handle lactate from high intensity work
- when I use an intensity and duration I can handle on a regular basis, almost daily then I am in the realm of base building harvesting low hanging aerobic food. I know from experience that this is for me around an hour @ around 120bpm.
- all breathing through the nose

Healthy running is mostly determined by the intensity in my opinion. I don't care that I am running like a snail. With some training I run like a fast one...
 

njrick1

Level 5 Valued Member
View attachment 9259
my alltime favourite for every activity, lifting, rowing, running. Currently I have 4 or 5 pairs of them. Makes my future decision consideration quite simple.

I run in them, on the street and trails. Usually around 10km and jogged in the late spring a training marathon in them.
I developed a forefoot stride years ago, never peoblems with knees, the calf and achilles take some longer time to be getting used to it.





The approach is a very important aspect. In my opinion the most sound and foolproove method/approach is 'slow jogging'

Jogging as a 'natural' 'minimal' 'fundamental' 'reset' 'cross movement pattern' 'mitochondrial' 'endocanabinoid prodocing' 'anti aging' 'muscle preserving' 'mambo jambo' ...activity must not be the thing for broomsticks only although that helps for running performance.

My weight is around 85kg on 178cm, probably not the runners built.

I actually run for aerobic development, relaxation and recovery.

There are some good rule of thumbs:
- hr between 115bpm and 135 (mostly depending ob length)
- at around 120bpm (two beats per second) the heart gets a good towards max dilation and almost complete ejection of the containing blood
- the lower the intensity, the more on the fat/carbs continuum it goes towards fat in the use of substrates
- lower intensities/hr train the 'slow fibers' mitochondria which can handle lactate from high intensity work
- when I use an intensity and duration I can handle on a regular basis, almost daily then I am in the realm of base building harvesting low hanging aerobic food. I know from experience that this is for me around an hour @ around 120bpm.
- all breathing through the nose

Healthy running is mostly determined by the intensity in my opinion. I don't care that I am running like a snail. With some training I run like a fast one...

Thank you, excellent points and video!

"Do you like running?"

"No not really"

"Why are you running then?"
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
Used to wear sambas as a kid, as I did those blue Starsky and Hutch ones. Great for hurdling cars.
The problem with Adidas shoes generally is how narrow they are. Dunno if they've always been that way or not. I have paddle feet and need special mechanical levers and pressure systems to get most shoes on, let alone walk or run in them.
Adidas track spikes are torture on 2 legs. Shame they don't make them in extra wide fit because they do have a go faster look about them.
 

vegpedlr

Level 6 Valued Member
Adidas, like lots of Euro shoes run narrow compared to the US. Sometimes they fit my high arches, sometimes they pinch. I’ve got Japanese feet I guess, wide forefoot, narrow heel, high arch.
 

Harald Motz

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Thank you, excellent points and video!

"Do you like running?"

"No not really"

"Why are you running then?"
Tanaka wrote a book 'slow jogging', also well worth to read.
- run with a smile on your face (I prefer neutral expression to avoid cramping my face.. ). Running/jogging very easily
- when my memory serves he gives a kind of hr aim: 138bpm - 1/2 age. So for a 40 year old it would be 118 bpm but he points more toward jogging at an easy effort with a smile
- minimalist shoes, flat sole
- forefoot strike, similar to sprinting
- high step cadence around 180 steps/minute
- relaxed nose breathing, tongue tip on the palate behind the upper front teeth helps. An old 'meditation trick'.
- upright posture gaze straight away
- also helpful is to make the arms long, opening the elbow. The arms work like clubs then. To concentrate on fast and relaxed arm swings can also help higher stride cadence. I got this from @Al Ciampa, a great running teacher.



The thing for most people is to be able to jog slow with a very low hr. Some people can walk faster than jog at the same low hr. Walk - jog - walk gradually increasing jog time is the way to jog eventually.

The other mental thing is that one can feel uncomfortable with being so slow. But this is pure mental and a narrow point of view.

Eventually it is really gratifying to be able to jog for extended time period at a really low hr.



It takes a bit of time and the hr settles down nicely and you have to put considerably more effort to bring it up.

Rewarding progress is measured like MAF to extend the length of the run at the same time frame with the same avg hr. Or the same length faster. With todays reliable hr monitors it is 'easy' to stay on track.


In my opinion very easy jogging is really great for many reasons: cheap, anytime anywhere, exposure to heat, cold, rain, light, dark, wind, frost, spring, summer, autumn and winter, relsxing for the nervous system as it really normalizes the overall systemic biological functions. I am fairly convinced that easy running makes the body resilient over time, when the overall pounding on the bones and joints gets minimized by great form and metabolic pounding stays low most of the times by using low base building intensity. When dome resiliency is established over months one can think about some sprinkled 'harder' methods.


@Harald Motz do you know if the Sambas have heel to toe drop or if they are flat?
flat as they can get.

It makes one wonder if the premium for minimalist shoes is unecessary, but personally my foot is so wide that converse shoes are too confining, I will try the sambas though!
When the shoes are advertised as 'minimal' 'natural' 'barefoot' you most probably have to pay a premium price.
Then in my opinion cheap and sturdy and comfortable does the trick anytime.
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
It makes one wonder if the premium for minimalist shoes is unecessary, but personally my foot is so wide that converse shoes are too confining, I will try the sambas though!
Before Nike invented the cushioned running shoe for heel striking basically all sports shoes were minimalist. Like Puma H-Street, Adidas Samba or Asics Onitsuka.
 
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