nike running shoes

you’re going to learn how to pick a good nike running shoes. And the information that we’re going to be talking about comes from, in large part, this article, which is from the American College of Sports Medicine. It’s also coming from experience that I have, so I’ll be adding my editorial, but most of this is coming from the ACSM and their recommendations. So let’s just jump right in. I’m going to read some of this and then throw in my editorial. “nike running shoes should be selected after careful consideration. With so many brands and styles of shoes on the marketing today, it is important to find the best fit for your feet and needs. There is no ‘right shoe’ that fits all runners. However, research and injury patterns have shown there are some general characteristics of a good, safe running shoe.” Now, before I even jump in I just want to warn you that what you’re about to learn flies completely in the face of what you will hear from most people trying to sell you nike running shoes. You go to your average running shoe store, they will tell you the exact opposite of what you’re about to hear. Remember, this is research coming from the American College of Sports Medicine, not someone who has been paid to say certain things from a running shoe company. For example, some of them are going to argue, “Because I actually own a shoe company…” Trust me, you’ll hear the difference between what I’m saying and what someone who’s being paid to say things that are the opposite of what the American College of Sports Medicine is saying. Here we go. Let’s just start with this first paragraph because this really, if you get nothing out of this other than what’s in this first paragraph, this could change your life. “A nike running shoes should protect the feet against injury but should not do the work of the foot by providing excessive cushioning and lots of extra support in the arch. A shoe should complement a strong foot.” Let’s just parse that. Let’s break that down. A running shoe should protect the feet against injury. That’s the fundamental function. If you look at nike running shoes prior to 1972, most of them, really thin bits of leather and some leather on the top, but that’s all they were doing, was protecting the foot against injury. They weren’t providing any of the bells and whistles that you see in modern nike running shoes. So, something to keep in mind that this whole new running shoe thing really kicked off in the early seventies and has changed dramatically, and what the ACSM is suggesting right here, first thing – protect the foot against injury. Primary function. So next, “But shouldn’t do the work of the foot by providing excessive cushioning.” Now what that means, the work of the foot—and actually the entire lower body—its job is to be a natural spring and shock absorber. So you don’t want the shoe to try and take over that role. And we’ll talk about why in a little bit, but suffice it to say, you want to let the foot and the rest of your lower body do its job…not providing excessive cushioning. Now, the reason you don’t want excessive cushioning is—Harvard’s Daniel Lieberman showed this—your foot has more nerve endings in the sole than anywhere but your fingertips and your lips, and one of the things that that sensory feedback mechanism gives you, it tells your brain how to use your whole body. It tells your brain what you’re stepping on or in. And so if you have a bunch of cushioning, your brain basically tells your foot to land harder because it’s not getting information otherwise. So it’s a paradoxical thing—paradoxical until you think about it, really—that you don’t want excessive cushioning because that actually has been shown to increase loading forces in the body. Another reason that it increases loading forces is with a lot of cushioning you’ll often land with your leg fully outstretched—straight leg—which means you’re sending a force right up through the joints rather than using the muscles, ligaments and tendons as the natural spring and shock absorbers they’re built to be. So you don’t want excessive cushioning and you don’t want lots of extra support in the arch. I’m going to argue you don’t need any, but let’s just start with you don’t need extra support in the arch. Now, some people will go, “But I need support because I’m wearing my orthotics and…” etc. If you look at some research done about orthotics and support, A, there was a great article in the New York Times written by one of my favorite science writers—because she’s, A, brilliant, and B, I love her name, which is Gina Kolata—looking at arch support and basically it showed that it’s primarily not necessary. Very few people are helped a little bit, for a little bit of time, but if you wear support over time it can actually be detrimental. Think of it this way: You break your arm, you put your arm in a cast, it’s being supported, and when it comes out of the cast it is weaker. Same thing happens with your foot. If you don’t let your foot move naturally by supporting it, it over time gets weaker, and that’s a vicious cycle. So you don’t need extra support. “A shoe should complement a strong foot.” Now, you might say, “Do I have a strong foot?” Well, the answer is, if you’ve been wearing big nike running shoes with a lot of cushioning, doing way more than just protecting your foot against injury with a lot of support, you may not. So how do you get stronger? Same way you would if you’d come out of the cast. You start using that arm, it gets stronger. You use your foot, it gets stronger. You can use your foot when you have a shoe that does what it’s suggesting here – just protecting yourself against injury, not doing the work of your foot by providing excessive cushioning, not giving you a lot of extra arch support. If you’ve been in highly supportive shoes, it can take you a little while to get those things working again, but anyone can get stronger at any age. So, just FYI. Okay, let’s go down a little further. “Characteristics of a good, safe nike running shoes include minimal heel-to-toe drop.” The drop is the difference in thickness of the heel cushion to the thickness in the forefoot cushion area. Or, another way of saying that, it’s just the difference in height between your heel and your forefoot when you’re standing on the ground in the shoe. Let me show you an example of something. Yup, there we go. So here’s a shoe where I’ve drawn these two lines. Here’s basically a straight line parallel to the ground. Here’s the line you can see from the heel to the ball of the foot, and actually it goes a little further, but same idea. And this distance here is the drop. In this case, this looks like about a half an inch, which is significant. This is practically—well, it’s not practically wearing high heels. That’s a bit of an exaggeration. But it’s a high-heeled product. I mean, that is a significant amount to elevate your heel. Let’s back up. “nike running shoes with no drop or a small drop, 6 millimeters or less, are the best choice for allowing the foot to normally support loading during each gait cycle.” So the gist of it is, the way your foot works, your foot has an arch and an arch works when both ends are kind of touching the ground properly. When you jack one end up, an arch falls down. Same thing in your foot. When you unnaturally move your heel up, it just changes the whole biomechanics of your foot and makes it so you don’t load your foot properly. It also can offset your knees, your hip and your back, and cause your butt to stick out and cause other problems as well. But, so first things first, you want to go with a shoe with no drop or a small drop. I’m going to use as an example for no drop a shoe that I just pulled off my foot. This is one of mine, I will confess. So Xero nike running shoes have a zero drop, so the height of the ball of the foot is the same as the height of the heel because it’s a flat sole. Let’s look at something else though before we jump off on that. Let’s look at a shoe like this one. So this is a Hoka shoe, and this is kind of deceptive because your heel sits in this cushion here. So this is actually—and I’m going to draw this line. If I do it correctly from the ball of the foot—well, that’s supposed to be a straight line. Yeah, it is. There we go. It’s a straight line. So, technically, this is a zero-drop shoe, but look at all of that cushioning and that is like an inch and a half of cushioning. And let’s go back to this first line right here, “should not do the work of the foot by providing excessive cushioning.” I’m just saying, that seems like excessive cushioning. In fact, if you take a look at research from Irene Davis from Harvard, she investigated nike running shoes like that and found that they do not in fact reduce the force going through your body with all that extra padding; in fact, often as I described because your brain wants to get feedback, can sometimes and often increase forces. So there’s something that’s actually not described in here about shoe shape that I want to bring up, and that’s a thing called toe spring. That’s this angle here. Toe spring is designed because these soles are stiff, and with a stiff sole as you’re moving your foot, if it was a stiff flat sole, you would just be slapping the ground and your foot wouldn’t be able to move naturally. So this toe spring was built in to kind of let your foot rock forward as you come off the ground, but the problem is your toes are like this all the time and that’s not natural. So you can see that it looks like there’s some toe spring in the Xero shoe, but that’s actually, A, just the shape that the shoe has taken over time because I’ve used it, and B, it naturally flattens out when you just put any pressure in it. Tiny bit of pressure, totally flattens out. So that’s the difference. And toe spring, again, that’s something that’s not mentioned in this article. Okay, next characteristic of a good shoe: “Neutral – means the shoe doesn’t contain motion control or stability components. These extra components interfere with normal foot motion during weightbearing.” I want to tell you how this whole thing of motion control and stability came to be. So in early 1970s, when nike running shoes started making higher-heeled shoes, when you have a higher-heeled shoe, when you put padding under the heel, you tend to use that padding. It’s just one of these things your brain does even though it’s not great for you. You use that padding, and so you’re landing on your heel. Now, your heel—oh, I don’t have it. I normally have a foot skeleton around me. But your heel bone is essentially a ball. Have you ever tried to sit on one of those stability balls? It’s not stable. Neither is your heel when you’re landing on your heel. So, suddenly you’re able to land on your heel but now you’re unstable, so now we have to build in motion control because you’re unstable. Holy smokes. I don’t know if it talks about the arch thing later but there’s another thing that the reason that they started building in arch support is when you land on your heel, your foot gets fully extended by the time it comes down, so that arch you have in your foot gets primarily flattened out and that puts extra strain. I mean,

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