Another Perspective on Vibram FiveFingers [Video]

As somebody who does part of his training and running in minimalist shoes (mainly Skora Running), I wholehearted agree with this doctor. Running shoes are simply tools to help you run, and just like other tools, there are safe, responsible ways to use them—and reckless, dangerous ways to use them.

Minimalist shoes have allowed me to work on my running form, strengthen my feet and ankles and improve my balance. As a result, I am a better, faster, and most importantly, healthier runner than I was when I only ran in mainstream running shoes.

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How to Choose Running Shoes [Infographic]

Keeping with my new marathon shoes theme this week, here are some tips on how to choose your next pair of running shoes.

How to Choose Running Shoes - REI

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Transcript: How to Choose Running Shoes

1. Know Your Running Shoes

Road Running Shoes:

  • For pavement and surfaces with only slight irregularities
  • Light and flexible
  • Cushions or stabilizes feet

Trail Running Shoes

  • For off-road routes
  • Enhanced with aggressive out-soles for solid traction
  • Fortified to offer stability and underfoot protection

2. Know Your Feet

Know Your Ankles

Pronation affects the sideways motion of your foot as it propels the foot forward

ROLL IN (over pronate): Choose shoes with motion control and extra stability

ROLL OUT (under pronate): Choose shoes with cushioning and flexibility

Know Your Arches

The height of your arch can affect the direction your ankles roll (pronation):

  • HIGH: your ankles probably under-pronate
  • FLAT: your ankles probably over-pronate
  • ARC DE TRIUMPH: you are in France 🙂

3. Know Your Environment

Running Surfaces

Like tires, outsoles are designed to accommodate certain surfaces.

I Run On:
  • ROADS: choose shoes that are light, flexible and cushion my feet
  • TRAILS: Choose shoes that offer stability and traction with study outsoles

What Drives You?

Keep track of your speed and distance to determine the lifespan of your running shoes.

The Reason I run is:
  • For fitness, fun or exercise—shoes get minimal usage
  • Increased speed—shoes get extra wear and tear
  • Improved endurance—shoes need to be comfortable for the long haul
  • Triathlete/marathon training—shoes need to be versatile
  • To escape from bears 🙂 —shoes need optional nitrous switch

Is is time for new running shoes?

An average running shoe lasts between 300 and 500 miles, or 3-4 months.

4. Lacing Techniques

Hammer Toes

  • Lifts up toe box to help toes from curling down

Heel Slipping

  • Locks heel into place to reduce blisters caused by excess heel movement.

High Arches

  • Removes pressure points on sensitive nerves on the top of the foot

Cats Cradle 🙂

  • The world record Cat’s Cradle is 21,200 in 21 hours

Did you Know? That plastic thingy on the end of your shoelace is an “aglet.”

5. Know Your Shoes

Tips for trying on running shoes:

  1. A thumbnail’s length of space in the toe box allows room for normal swelling and running downhill.
  2. Try on shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are at the largest.
  3. Use orthodics? Bring them when trying on running shoes.
  4. Get improves cushioning and stability with custom insoles, like Superfeet or Spenco.

6. Know the Numbers

Fast Facts

  • 9.58 seconds: 100-meter world record
  • 3:35:27.2: 50,000 meters walking world record
  • 70-75 mph: by the way, a cheetah can accelerate faster than a Ferrari Testarossa (0-60 in 3 seconds)

Fun Facts

  • Human foot & ankle:
    • 26 bones
    • 33 joints
    • 100+ muscles, ligaments & tendons
  • 10,000 steps a day = 100,000 miles per lifetime (=4x the circumference of the earth!)
  • 250,000 foot sweat glands produce 1/2 pint of sweat per day
  • 10.35 inches: average length of a man’s foot


How To Choose Running Shoes

My Spring Marathon Shoes

New Balance 890v4After training pretty much non stop for the past year and trying to wear as little shoe as possible, I felt it was time to switch things up a bit and try a bit ‘more’ shoe for my spring marathon.  However, I still wanted a lower drop, and didn’t want the overly cushioned shoes that are trendy now.

In my ongoing search for the ‘perfect’ marathon shoe that balances comfort, lightweight and durability, I initially had my eyes  set on the new Brooks Pure3 Cadence or Flow.  However, I learned that my go-to shoe store, Running Room wasn’t going to carry them this spring. That news, combined with the fact that I had a 20% gift certificate for New Balance shoes from volunteering as a Sun Run InTraining clinic leader led me to give this popular brand a try.

After trying on several pairs of New Balance shoes at the Right Shoe store in Kits, including the New Balance 1080, I decided on the 890v4.  It is a light-weight (8.5 oz) neutral shoe with a good balance of cushioning, protection, and durability. You can find my full review HERE.

Your Turn

What shoes are you going to wear for your next big race?

New Balance 890v4 Review

New Balance 890v4 top view

First Impressions of the New Balance 890v4 When I first saw the 890V4 in the store display I was skeptical. The mid-sole looked very pronounced, the upper looked busy and flashy, with a very padded tongue and collar. It looked like a heavy weight clunker of a shoe, instead of the sleek neutral … Continue reading