The Great Myth of Rotating your Shoes : Here are the Actual Facts as we see them.

Everyone has heard the rules, rotate into new shoes about every 400-500 miles.  We disagree, kind of, and we have talked about it on previous blog posts in the past and on our podcasts.  Many shoe reps have agreed with the methods we employ for our runners.

The EVA foam often used in shoe manufacturing has a lifespan, or better put, a given number of compression and shear cycles. It can go through a rather fixed number of compression cycles before it loses its original structural properties, the older the foam gets the faster the degradation process and the more risks it poses for runners.  It is known that EVA foam compressed into a focal vector or area over and over again becomes softer and more giving into that vector/area over time.  Hence, if you have a compensation pattern or a known foot type (forefoot varus, forefoot valgus, rearfoot varus, rearfoot valgus or a combination of these 4) you will break down a certain region or zone of the shoe’s EVA foam. For example a forefoot varus foot type will often drive some heavy focal compression into the foam under the first metatarsal. However, if you combine it with a rear foot valgus it will drive shear forces and compression into the  EVA foam along the entire medial aspect of the shoe (see the 2 pictures attached, you can see the evidence of excessive medial compression and medial shear in a foot that has severe rearfoot valgus and forefoot varus. This is a very poor shoe prescription for the foot type involved).

Here is what you need to do / know:

1- Know your athletes foot type so you can make more informed decisions.

2- Know the type of foam of the shoes you are recommending (ie. Altra uses A-Bound foam instead of EVA just as an example. A-Bound is an environmentally friendly energy-return compound is made of recycled materials. It reduces the impact of hard surfaces while still maintaining ground feedback. Traditional running shoe foam compresses 70-90% while A-Bound™ compresses 2-3x less so it won’t deform over time.).  Cheap shoes use cheap materials.  Altra goes the extra mile for foam quality and many others are beginning to follow suit. If you think you are getting a deal on shoes, know what “the deal” is, it just may be cheaper materials.

3-  500 miles is not the rule for everyone and every shoe.  If you have a relatively neutral forefoot and you are a forefoot or midfoot strike runner you will get far more miles out of a shoe.  If you depend on a stability shoe with dual densities of foam to slow your pronation and control your medial foot because of a rearfoot valgus and/or forefoot varus know that the shoe’s foam will break down less uniformly because of foam interface junctions and whatnot.  This is a science. Engineers call it “the mechanics of material deformation”.  We wonder how many mechanical engineers shoe companies have on board in their R&D divisions ?  We know for a fact that a few do not. There was a reason we snuck quietly into the mechanical engineering departments of our Alma Mater and sat quietly in the “Materials” classes. At the time our roommates just told us it was  cool class, little did we know why it was so interesting to us, until now.

4- Here is what we recommend. Fit the foot type to the right shoe selection. If you are weak in this territory consider taking our intense “National Shoe Fit” program. Fit is everything. Make the wrong choice for your client and the shoes will break down quicker and into poor and risky patterns. Make the right choice and be their hero. If you are looking for a way to improve clientele happiness and store loyalty our Shoe Fit Program is the way. Just read the testimonials here on our blog. Some of the top stores in the Nation have quietly taken the National Shoe Fit Program from us, they have good reason to. They also have good reason to keep it quiet, to get the edge on the competition.

You can email us to get this information and the e-file program download. Why not certify your entire store staff ?

Email us at   thegaitguys@gmail.com.  This program will teach you foot anatomy, functional anatomy, shoe anatomy, foot types and matching foot type to shoe type as well as many other aspects of gait and lower limb biomechanics.

* 5- Try this recommendation.  At 250 miles buy a new shoe to accompany your shoe that already has 250 miles. Now you are rotating 2 shoes. From this 250 mile point moving forward, alternate the newer show with the older shoe. This way you are never in a shoe that is notably more deformed in a specific area of the EVA foam because of your compensations, limitations or foot type. Essentially you are always just a day away from a newer shoe that has less driving force into abnormally compressed EVA foam.  The older the shoe gets the more it accelerates your foot and body into that deformation and hence why many injuries occur as their shoes get older. Continue to alternate shoes on every other run (new, old, new, old).  Once you hit 400-500 miles on the old shoes, ditch them and get a new pair again to restore the cycle once again.  In fact, to be specific here is what we recommend. Monday, old shoe. Tuesday, new shoe. Wednesday do not run, rather, rest or cross train. Thursday go back to the older shoe. Friday new shoe and repeat. This way you are 4 days between runs in the older more deformed shoe. The one day off running in mid week gives tissues that were challenged by the “old shoe run” a bit more time to repair.

6- Dedicate your shoes to running only. Running gait is not the same as walking gait. Why would you want to break down the EVA foam at the rear foot during walking (because heel strike is normal in walking) when in running you are a mid-forefoot striker ?  Keep walking shoes for walking, running shoes for running. Otherwise you are just asking for trouble.

Check out our National Shoe Fit program and certification process here as well as links to our other teaching DVD’s & e-downloads:
 http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.asp?m=80204

Shawn and Ivo. Helping you use your head (and shoe knowledge) better everyday.
The Gait Guys  (have you checked out our RebelMouse page ? https://www.rebelmouse.com/TheGaitGuys/

Keeping up with our awesome informative podcasts ? It is all free stuff ! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138

How about our youtube channel ? http://www.youtube.com/user/thegaitguys

How about our Facebook PAGE ?  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Gait-Guys/169366033103080

Gait Forensics: Why the government and their cameras will get it right

On Podcast 17 (click here for a link to our iTunes account) we mentioned and shared a brief snippet from a recent Nova Now (video.pbs.org) entitled “How the Brain Works”. In this podcast we discuss astrophysicist extraordinaire Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s thoughts on how vision can fool us because of 2 basic types of neuroreceptors, one that detects motion while the other suppresses the background. This occurs when we are tracking an object in something called smooth pursuit.  In other words, the brain doesn’t pay attention to everything our eyes look at.  The brain just cannot process all of the visual information accurately. This is a handicap as a human. It is what can make us good at some aspects of vision and less good at others, the question is “Can this be taught and refined ?”  Great basketball players for example can see the the entire court and see plays developing. Wayne Gretzky was also reportedly great at this. This is what led him to say “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where the puck currently is.”  Watch any youth soccer  game and you will see just the opposite. You will see a hoard of little arms and legs all huddled around the soccer ball, no play is developing rather they are all in the moment competing to get the soccer ball.

Why are we talking about this from this perspective ?  Well there have been continued developments in the government’s gait recognition software, something we refer to as “Gait Forensics”.  Here are 2 links.

1. http://www.dnaindia.com/scitech/report_now-cameras-can-identify-thieves-from-their-walk_1743650

2. http://rt.com/news/identify-walk-system-britain-668/

Computers will likely have the advantage of gathering all of the info on a persons gait. It will not get caught up on the face or the clothes, there will be no discrimination. The software will likely capture head carriage, arm swing, stride length, step length, cadence, postural characteristics and so much more.  It will be more information than the human will likely be able to process because computers will not likely suppress any aspects of a persons gait like we mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this blog piece. To the computer, all  parameters will have equal and top priority, at least in gathering information.  Interpretation remains another matter. But we are most sure that in time that too will be ironed out.

Shawn and Ivo

More to say about the National Shoe Fit Certification Program…
“I found the course to be the perfect blend between science and retail practices, making it an essential tool for any specialty running store. Immediately after finishing the video I was able to recognize specific issues in my customer’s feet and their reaction to my knowledge couldn’t have been more positive. As a result of becoming certified I will have happier and healthier customers and will know when to refer particular foot and gait issues to my partner doctors and physical therapists. The video will be a resource long after becoming certified.”

Ben Nelson is the manager of Goldstream Running, the farthest north run specialty shop in North America (and maybe the world!), located in the Goldstream Valley outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. He also coaches high school cross country and track and field.

Want to know more about getting certified? drop us an email: thegaitguys@gmail.com

Podcast #17: Gait and Magic (and much more !)

Podcast Link:

http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/podcast-17-magic-gait

iTunes link:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138

__________________________________________________________

Gait, Magic, Evolution, Foot Types, Stretching, Cases studies…… we have it all on today’s podcast.

Show Links
“How does the brain work ?”
 Nova Science Now
www.video.pbs.org   

buy this NOVA program now ! Educate the world ! :
http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=11095035&utm_source=PBS&utm_medium=Link&utm_content=nosn_nova6215_howbrainworks_covebuyit&utm_campaign=cove_buyit

Other links for today’s show:

http://www.medlink.com/medlinkcontent.asp

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12763089

http://www.ajronline.org/content/184/3/953.full

1. Hi Guys,
I was wondering if you could direct me to a podcast/video or elaborate on how a fast stretch can relax a hypertonic muscle in a practical setting. Can manual stretching techniques like MET be use by altering the technique with a short fast stretch or are you just referring to high velocity low amplitude manipulation? We are often taught to find the barrier apply contraction and then ‘gently’ go to the next barrier. Is this still a good way of activating the GTO’s?Also do you have any further discussion I can check out on GTO’s?

Thanks for your time, Adrian

2. Hello, GAIT Guys!

First I want to thank you for your phenomenal work!
I work alot with athletes and there are so many that have some sort of sole into their shoes. Problem was, pretty much everyone, didn’t get the answer to WHY they needed them. Just the normal “your foot pronates” and frankly, 1 out of 40 got better.
I was driven by the question WHY, searched around in Sweden, attending lectures, orthophaedic clinics etc, but I didn’t get the answers that I was looking for.
Started to look into it deeper for myself, when I found you guys!
Now I want to bring back that knowledge to Sweden, cause frankly.. WE NEED IT!
Can you tell me more about your certification? Is it possible for a Swe to attend and get the certification?
Best Regards
Gabriel
Dr. of Naprapathy from Sweden

3. Hello Drs. Waerlop and Allen. I need some clarification on gait biomechanics. Will using a more “minimalist” running shoe or a shoe with less RF to FF delta help peroneous longus to gain mechanical advantage? If someone has a forefoot varus would recommending a lower ramp shoe be appropriate to help “retrain” the tripod at stance phase? 
John F

4. Another blog question…ivo said in podcast #15 that most people have a forefoot abnormality (during section talking about flares). Any idea Why? Is it skewed toward one way or the other?
After looking at quite a few feet since becoming shoe fit certified, I’ve noticed quite a lot of variation. If I was pressed if say I’ve seem <10% FF valgus and maybe half of the rest each neutral and varus. Is that in the ballpark of what you guys see?
How about rear foot? I feel like I see a lot of rear foot varus but maybe my frame of reference is not accurate? If I was pressed, I’d say 70% varus, 29% neutral, 1% valgus. Does that seem off?
Thanks, Eric J

Category
Educational

Podcast #16: Monkeys, Newton Shoes & Gait Vision

Gait, running, Newton Shoes, Forefoot Strike, Gait Software, limb torsion problems, foot tripod and lots more !

LINK: http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/podcast-16-monkeys-newtons-gait-vision

Join us today for the following topic list and show note links:

Links to DVD’s & e-downloads: http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.asp?m=80204

1- scars of evolution:

Bigfoot blog post:    http://thegaitguys.tumblr.com/day/2011/11/05

Why gait must be taught slowly. Even running gait must be taught slowly.

2- email from a reader

wondering if you had any internal femoral torsion videos? I have been looking online and noticed most of the articles were on children with IFT. I have internal femoral rotation, a “winking patella” and I believe an externally rotated tibia? I am a runner and I am trying to find some more info on my awesome gait:) As you can imagine, I have had my fair share of injuries from running (hip, knee, and foot) and I have tried foam rolling but I am hoping you have some other recommendations

3- The Almighty Foot Tripod exercise – good for pronation of the foot

4- DISCLAIMER: We are not your doctors so anything you hear here should not be taken as medical advice. For that you need to visit YOUR doctors and ask them the questions. We have not examined you, we do not know you, we know very little about your medical status. So, do not hold us responsible for taking our advice when we have just told you not to !  Again, we are NOT your doctors

5- Blog post we liked recently:  Perception/vision and Gait analysis software.

http://thegaitguys.tumblr.com/search/vision

2 blog posts here…….review them before the pod

The Observation Effect:   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm

6- SHOE TALK:   Skora Shoes
7- Our dvd’s and efile downloads
Are all on payloadz. Link is in the show notes.
Link: http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.asp?m=80204

Foot Types and Shoe Selection, anyone?

Join Dr Allen in this excerpt from the National Shoe Fit Certification Program. Need to know more about foot types? Consider taking the program. Want to take it a step further? Get Certified!

email us at: thegaitguys@gmail.com for more details.

Yet another IFGEC certification

Here is what Diana Keh has to say

“The Gait Guys have really helped me learn more about foot anatomy and biomechanics and how they relate to fitting customers properly for shoes.  I had followed their blog posts in the past but it was the course that helped solidify those concepts and put them into practice.”
Check her out at:  www.fitgeeksports.com
 
The Gait Guys. Bringing the world of gait geeks together, one shop at a time.