New Balance: Balancing Great Shoes and Commendable Labor Practices

Long has negative publicity surrounding shoe manufacture labor practices in developing countries plagued the athletic shoe industry. New Balance, however, has been paraded as the exemplary brand for runners concerned with fair labor practices. Unlike other athletic shoe producers, New Balance rarely outsources production. In fact, 100% of New Balance’s manufacturing plants are located in the United States. At the height of public awareness about labor practices in the athletic shoe industry, New Balance was the clear choice for socially aware runners. But, it turns out, New Balance also makes a fantastic running shoe. Regardless of manufacturing labor practices, runners love New Balance.

So, you’ve decided a New Balance shoe is for you. But which one?

Supportive Cushioning Models

Stability/Motion Control Models

Lightweight Models

March 17, 2006 | by Admin

Avoid Injury with an AAPSM Selected Shoe

“Sports injuries impact the health and quality of life of millions of Americans,” or so says the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM), who publishes an annual list of selected athletic shoes, including running shoes, cross trainers and trail runners. By providing information to advance the understanding, prevention and management of sports related injuries, the AAPSM strives to optimize fitness activity enjoyment.

Check out the list of selected running shoes and see if your current shoe or that snazzy one you’ve been eyeing makes the grade. AAPSM list of selected running shoes In selecting running shoes for the list, the AAPSM tests shoes for stability, durability, availability, price, quality control, orthotic compatibility, and specific, unique features. Selected running shoes are categorized by Mild Motion Control, Moderate Motion Control, Maximum Motion Control, Cushioning and Trail so you’re certain to find a great shoe to fit your specific foot structure and activity needs. For those of us with special size or width requirements, the AAPSM denotes shoes available in variable widths and larger sizes.

If you’re researching running shoes, cross trainers, aerobic shoes, hiking shoes or even walking shoes, start with safety and start here!

February 27, 2006 | by Admin

Under-Pronators and Supinators – Try a Neutral-Cushioned Shoe

Under-pronators and supinators: Do you tend to have some running pains in your joints? If so, a flexibility or neutral-cushioned shoe might be right for you. Here’s why:

Under-pronators (those who roll the foot inward enough during your stride) and supinators (those who roll the foot outward during your stride) often don’t hit the ground with the majority of your feet. This can be partially due to high arches, and mainly due to the mechanical motion of the foot. The consequences of this are that the feet (the “shock absorber” for the leg) don’t work to their full effect and often put increased strain on the leg, causing injuries such as ankle pain, heel spurs, and pain in the knees. To combat this motion, runners need to find shoes that offer minimal support on the medial (inner) part of the foot so that it has an easier time turning inward.

Flexibity shoes often do this. They are frequently lightweight compared to other shoes and have a soft sole to help absorb and spread impact throughout the foot. Additionally, they have minimal to no stability features to curb pronation, allowing the foot to roll inward to its maximum.

Flexibility shoes tend to work best for lighter under-pronators, as their soft features tend to be less durable than those in stability or motion-control shoes. For heavier under-pronators, a flexible stability shoe may be the solution.

February 25, 2006 | by Admin

New Balance 1060 Review

One of the most well-known flexibility shoes out there is the New Balance 1060. This neutral-cushioned shoe is meant for middleweight to heavier runners. It offers a number of technologies that help runners with high arches. They include the following:

-An Abzorb SBS® system in the outsole that helps ‘absorb and disperse’ impact throughout the foot, a must-have for under-pronators

-The Blown Rubber Outside in the heel which helps keep the shoe light and cushioned

-An Abzorb FL midsole that makes the shoe even more resilient

This shoe is known as one of the softer flexibility shoes and gives a smooth ride with a little bounce. It is about $110 and weighs about 12.6 oz for men, 10.5 for women. For more information, visit the New Balance website.

February 23, 2006 | by Admin

What is Under-Pronation?

If you did the paper-towel test and found that you have a high arch, or if you are bow-legged, you may be vulnerable to under-pronation. Under-pronation is the opposite of pronation, and occurs when the foot doesn’t collapse enough to absorb the shock of each step you take.

If you’re a little confused at what under-pronation means, think of it this way:

Walk forward with your right foot. As you step forward, you first touch the ground with the heel of your foot and then proceed to touch it with your toe. Your foot should also roll slightly from outside to inside (from right to left) to protect the legs from receiving too much impact. When you under-pronate, your foot tends to not roll enough, sending too much impact throughout the legs.

Runners who under-pronate may experience the following symptoms amongst others:
-Ankle rollover
-Achilles tendonitis
-Knee, hip, or lower back pain
-Plantar fasciitis (heel spurs)

Fortunately, there is an entire line of running shoes – flexibility/neutral-cushioned shoes, out there for under-pronating runners. To see whether or not you are a under-pronator, go to a specialty running shoe retailer so they can do a gait analysis of your foot. For reviews and further information on under-pronation, continue to puruse our website for reviews!

February 21, 2006 | by Admin