Maximal Shoes Not a Solution?

From the “We told you so” file comes this new bit of running shoe research:

The study concluded that runners experienced a higher impact peak and increased loading rate with the “maximal” shoes. Increases in both factors are associated with a greater likelihood of injury, such as plantar fasciitis and tibial stress fractures.

Actually, this isn’t “new.” Harvard’s Dr. Irene Davis discovered the same thing.

In short: cushioning doesn’t cushion.

Why not?

Think about your foot — 1/4 of the bones and joints in your entire body are in your feet and ankles. And you have more nerve endings in your soles than anywhere but your fingertips and lips.

Given all that, it seems pretty clear that your feet are made to bend, move, flex, and FEEL the world.

That means your brain is designed to KNOW what’s going on down there… so it can help you control your whole body, head to toe, more effectively and efficiently.

If you attenuate the information your brain wants to receive (probably NEEDS to receive) with a bunch of cushioning, one adaptation is to land harder so that it can feel something.

If you want to reduce impact forces, what you ultimately need is some form of shock absorber that can adjust almost instantly to changing loads, changing speed, and changing angles. Ideally, something that doesn’t break down and need replacing every 3-500 miles. And even better if it can return energy — or generate additional energy.

Oh, wait, you already have that!

It’s called the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your feet, ankles, legs, knees, and back.

And if you use them naturally, they can keep you happy well into your old age.

That’s what Xero Shoes are all about. Letting your body do what’s natural with just enough protection — and some style — for your active life.