Bringing Wellness Full Circle

Posts tagged ‘shoe’

Workout Shoes




I ran my marathon on $7 shoes… but I would not advice it to anyone! And while it may not be a great idea to switch shoes just before an important race, it is important to consider replacing your shoes every so often .. and that is no fun when they are finally comfortable!  Running and walking shoes don’t last forever, and the support for your feet does wear out as your break down the cushioning with every step that you take.

Actually, as crazy as it sounds, shoes actually begin to age before you even buy them: (1) Since they are glued together, the glue is already dying out while the shoes are waiting for you on the store shelf or in the warehouse.  (2) The air pocket in the cushioning might already slowly be dissipating–why do you think that the older models are on sale? I wasn’t too happy when I figured this out since I used to always buy my workout shoes on the clearance rack! Don’t hesitate to ask the salespeople how long the shoes have been in the store.

Typical shoes die after about 350 to 500 miles, depending on a few factors, one of which is your weight—the more you weigh, the faster they wear out.  If you walk an average of 7 hours per week (one a day), then your shoes should be replaced every three months.  If you walk about 30 minutes a day, the support will last about six months—every time we change the clock!

A good way to find out if your shoes are dead is by rotating walking shoes–alternate an old and a new pair, and see if you can sense the difference between them.

You can also figure out if your shoes are dead by looking at the soles.  If the heel is worn more on one side than on the other, or the sole tread pattern is worn down, or there are winkles in the side or bottom of the sol, it’s time to go get new ones! Remember, if you wear dead shoes, your feet don’t have the support and cushioning that they need, and this can lead to painful shin splints, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome and stress fractures–yikes!

Well, wearing these too often will do that too…


but they are so cute! Especially with a little black dress.

Here are some tips on how to care for your workout shoes so that they have a little longer life:

~Don’t wear them all day but use them only for your exercise time—less exposure to foot moisture and bacteria!

~Air out your shoes between uses–don’t leave them in your gym bag! If you store them where they are exposed to air, they can dry out fully between uses.

~If you wear custom insoles, replace them  every time you replace your shoes. But don’t change insole as a substitute for new shoes—they do not give you the same cushioning and support as the shoe itself.

~If you wash your shoes, use gentle soap and cold water so that the glue is not destroyed. And don’t throw them in the dryer—the heat will contribute to faster breakdown of the glue.

~If you use your workout shoes more than once a day, maybe you should own a couple of pairs and get into the habit of alternate them–they’ll dry fully between uses.



Barefoot Training

Barefoot training is big in my book.

Barefoot training is essential.

The end.

Now if you want more information, here it is–taken from a post by my fellow trainer Martin Rooney and reworded for us:

We work and work and work at strengthening our bodies, yet we ignore our feet, the base of all our support, only part of our body that touches the ground when we run, jump, walk, squat, lunge… And 30 % of all joints are in the feet.  Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?  We must develop strength and mobility in the feet.

~The feet is where you can build an ability to feel yourself in space (PROPRIOCEPTION). When they are strong, the force you put through those feet is increased.  

~We tend to think that if we buy the right shoe, we don’t need to do anything else for their feet. Actually we kind of think that feet are just something that get shoved in a shoe. Shoving our feet into shoes leads to common problems like bunions, corns, hammer toes, Achilles shortening, athlete’s foot, ingrown nails and more. With the feet we should be building the feet that will go into the shoe just as we build the shoulders that go under the shoulder pads.We traditionally bench press as preparation for competition, but we don’t wear shoulder pads while doing it. That’s because we’re building the musculature that will go under those pads.

~ Many lower body strength training exercises can be performed barefoot. Barefoot lunges really challenges our balance and motor recruitment more than while wearing shoes. The deadlift and ladder are two other excellent choices for barefoot training. Form running and sprint running can be done barefoot – that’s what we’re designed for. But when was the last time anybody did that? Most “tenderfeet” people cringe at the thought of barefoot running, but strengthening the foot is an essential part of strengthening the entire lower limb. The architecture of the hand and the foot are almost identical. So what would happen if you had incredibly weak hands? If you have incredibly weak hands then you can’t pick anything up and if you can’t pick anything up then the arms, back and legs can’t get strong –  and it would be easy to see that if the arm isn’t strong then it’s also more susceptible to injury. Start slow and work your way up to barefoot training.

You can also add foot mobility exercises to your routine.  For example, take a tennis ball and roll your feet over it to keep the foot mobile. When mobility and stability in the feet deteriorate, the ankle, knee and hip positions and impacts change and this can make you more prone to injuries.

“It’s not the shoe on the foot   –   It’s the foot in the shoe that makes the difference!”  Martin Rooney

Rooney’s 5 Rules for Barefoot Health

  • Time should be spent out of shoes each day working on either strength or mobility
  • Shoes should be selected for feel and comfort, not look.
  • Lower body lifting sessions should be performed barefoot as much as possible.
  • Warm-ups should be performed barefooted as long as the surface allows.
  • Barefoot training should progress slowly and gradually as like any other form.

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