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

Racing Flats: To Wear or not to Wear

Those of you in the racing world know the benefits of racing flats. While a number of websites out there promote the shoes, and a variety of racing flat shoes are available to those who are interested in using them, consider these facts before whipping out your checkbook:

-For short distance races, and for runners with minimal pronation/supination problems, these are great shoes to run in! They’re extremely lightweight (2-4 oz less than a regular trainer) and can help you pare down your race time unlike any other shoe.

-Racing flats provide very little duraiblity, stability, flexibility, or support compared to training shoes. If you have motion problems (as I do), I would NOT recommend running in these for training purposes.

-Even the most biomechanically efficient runners should only consider using these shoes for short runs. If you are planning to run a marathon, for example, the long-term damage that a racing flat can’t prevent could be far bigger than the 10 seconds you shave off of your time.

So in sum: Short distances + Good stride = something to consider; Long races + Bad stride equals a recipe for disaster. If you think these shoes may be right for you, we will be posting a variety of racing flat reviews over the next several months. Keep your eyes open for the one for you!

February 19, 2006 | by Admin

Nike Air Zoom Percept – Softest Review Yet!

If you’re looking for the softest stability shoe on the market, the Nike Air Zoom Percept might be for you. Sorry boys, this comes specifically tailored for women in a lightweight, 10.1 oz design. This little sister to Nike’s 2005 Air Pegasus is our “softest” review to date.

What makes this stability shoe so comfy? Two key technologies. First, the heel comes with a Zoom Air system specific to Nike Air Zoom shoes. This cushioning allows the heel to keep momentum throughout the stride while minimizing impact on the forefoot. Additionally, a soft midsole and flex-grooves specifically geared to women’s feet give a runner the feeling that she’s running barefoot. These shoes can give mild pronators with normal arches the most comfortable run on the road! The come in around $110 and can be found at a variety of stores and on a number of websites. For more information from the source, visit Nike’s website.

February 17, 2006 | by Admin

Saucony Grid Hurricane 8 – Well Worth the Honors

One shoe I’ve kept my eye on during my running history is the Saucony Grid Hurricane. The latest version, the Hurricane 8, uses a number of different devices to help give runners maximum comfort. As hinted at in the title, the Saucony patented “Grid” (woven filaments) at the heel helps stabilize the foot on impact. For additional comfort, a MCD (Motion Control Device) helps reduce pronation, and an increase in HRC (“high rebound compound”) makes it the most comfortable version of the Hurricane ever.

The other key to this stability shoe lies in the midsole. Saucony’s patented Dual Density Impulse™ EVA system helps to minimize shock while its Arch-Lock system (see above) provides control and support. The shoe weighs in at 13.2 oz for men, and 11 oz for women.

While I haven’t purchased the shoe myself (it isn’t exactly right fit for my foot), reviews of the shoe have been impressive. Runners’ World magazine recently named the Saucony Grid Hurricane 8 the Editor’s Choice shoe of Spring 2006, and the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine has named previous models some of the best shoes for mild motion control. The Hurricane rings in at a heavy $125, but if you’re willing to fork out the cash, you’ll have a great run!

February 15, 2006 | by Admin

Asics Gel-Kinsei – Most Revolutionary Shoe Yet

On February 1, 2006, Asics launched its Gel-Kinsei, its most advanced running shoe to date. This stability shoe is jam-packed with features while weighing 13.2 oz for men and 11.5 oz for women. Here’s why you might want to consider a pair:

-The upper was created with a mesh material called Spacemaster-UV®. The material was inspired by sea-coral, and is very light, dry, and durable. Additionally, the shine reflects UV rays, making for a cooler run for your feet.

-The Solyte midsole cradles the foot and connects to the heel, providing maximum support

-The heel features two separate Gel® columns, and allows the heel to move independently while absorbing shock

It’s no wonder that Asics calls this shoe its “golden star” (kinsei’s English translation!). Previously launched in small quantities as the 2005 ING NYC Marathon, the shoe is now available in wide release for about $165. For more information, visit the Asics website.

February 13, 2006 | by Admin

High-Mileage Runners – Rotate your Shoes!

Some quick tips for high mileage runners:

Do you run more than 3-4 times a week, and go more than 3-4 miles each time you run? If so, the following article from Away.com might interest you. In it, it claims that running shoes take up to 48 hours to “dry out” between runs, and to get maximum comfort.

Change your running shoes based on your mileage. Running shoes wear down significantly over time. According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, after 350 to 500 miles, the shoe lacks the cushioning and support that your legs need when running long distances regularly. So for example, if you run 4 miles a day, 3 days a week, you should consider changing your running shoes around week 36, and definitely change them by week 41. Additionally, the average running shoe wears out in the midsole before anywhere else, so it may not be apparent in the “normal” places a shoe wears out (e.g, the sole, the fabric) that the shoe is ready to go.

Break in your shoes before big races. Never try to run a long race in a brand spankin’ new pair of shoes! Running shoes can be unpredictable, and trying to run in a new pair of shoes can be potentially very risky. Instead, try to plan to run at least 100 miles (that’s probably 3 or more weeks of running in most marathon training schedules) before you set your PR in those puppies. You’ll have plenty of time to make sure that your shoes are comfortable on long runs before the race.

February 11, 2006 | by Admin

Running technology term of the day: EVA

If you’re anything like me, you’ve done your running shoes homework, but might not know everything. Once in a while, you’ll run into a whopper of a sentence such as the following:

The Grid Hurricane 8 offers a Dual Density Impulse™ EVA midsole to provide increased shock attenuation with responsive cushioning, while a medial MCD (Motion Control Device) works with the Impulse EVA to slow the rate of pronation.

What the heck does this mean?? Usually, you may end your search here, but fear not, loyal readers, I have the solution for you. After a little homework (I try to go the “extra mile” for the curious), I found an easy-to-explain definition of EVA on www.outdoorgear.co.uk:

EVA stands for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. The main constituencies being Ethylene and Vinyl Acetate. By combining these two substances at different ratios produces a wide range of results…used in shoes and boots is a lightweight open-celled foam substance and primarily used for the mid-sole and /or inner cushioning. This form of EVA is both light, durable and tough wearing – an ideal addition to a shoe or boot.

Eureka! EVA is rubbery substance in the middle of the shoe that helps give you a little bounce as you run.

As I come across these hard-to-define words, I’ll continue to add them to this website. Keep your eye out for more technology explained!

February 9, 2006 | by Admin