Voted "Top Doctor" in Phoenix Magazine's April 2014, 2015 & 2016 issues, Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy discusses and recommends shoes for people of all ages with a multitude of podiatric problems. My goal is to help you find good looking shoes that are good for your feet and are pathology specific. For an appointment at our North Scottsdale office, please schedule an appointment by calling (480) 563 5115. For more information, please visit www.pinnaclepeakpodiatry.com
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Monday, May 12, 2014
Top Running Shoes - Podiatrist Recommended
TOP THREE RUNNING SHOES Podiatrist Recommended
I'm glad that the hype over the Vibram FiveFinger minimalist running shoes are being exposed for what they really are - a poor excuse for shoegear. The Vibram company just settled a class action lawsuit for $3.75 million for making false claims about health benefits runners get from wearing the Vibram FiveFingers. I suspect that the $3.75 million is peanuts compared to all the medical costs associated with the injuries caused by the FiveFinger shoes.
Here are my top three picks for running shoes:
New Balance 1540
Hoka One One - Stinson Tarmac
Each shoe has a thick and rigid sole so there is less motion through the foot, which allows for more protection of the foot and ankle joints, tendons and ligaments. Less motion through the foot translates to less damage to your joints, decreased chance of injury, decreased mechanical strain, and improved performance.
As far as improving your performance, think of it this way: if you are running around barefoot or in a minimalist shoe and if you have 'biomechanically challenged' feet, then you could be wasting a certain percent of you energy because you are being forced to use 'x' amount of energy trying to stabilize your foot and ankle or by compensating. When you biomechanically control your foot with a thick, rigid sole and a more protective running shoe, then you can put that previously 'wasted' energy into performance and speed.
One of the analogies that I use when discussing the advantages of a protective running shoe to my patients is: the car industry has robots that close the car door over and over to see at what number the car door hinge breaks. Think of the joints in your foot as 'hinges'. All hinges have a 'tipping point' where damage is done and the hinge will eventually break down. By wearing a running shoe that protects the 'hinge', you have increased the life of that hinge, which means more miles of running over the course of your life.
Runners love to run and, as a Podiatrist, my goal is to keep you runningfor as long as possible and with as few problems as possible.
I know that the minimalist runners get upset when anyone suggests that minimalist shoes are not good, but I would like to say that all of the information that I am offering is designed to keep you running longer with less problems so you see less doctors. The minimalist enthusiasts love to knock what I am saying, but I would also remind them that as a Podiatist I have a very specific point of view. No one comes to my office and pays me a $50 co-pay to tell me how great their feet are feeling. By the time someone makes an appointment with me, they are having enough pain to interrupt and disrupt their lives, not to mention their running activites.
I also recommend combining a great running shoe with a custom-molded orthotic, which is often covered by health insurance. If you can't get a custom-molded orthotic, I recommend an over-the-counter insert such as Footsteps or Powerstep. If you are recovering from a Lisfranc's injury or any foot or ankle injury and you are trying to return to running, I would recommend talking to your Podiatrist about possible bracing and physical therapy as you ease back into running activites.
I recently returned to light jogging and I am wearing the Hoka One One, which I purchased from the Runner's Den, located at 6505 North 16th Street in Phoenix. Scott was very helpful and advised me that if you have a history of Achilles Tendonitis, it is important that you stretch before running in the Hoka One One. The shoe has so much shock absorption that it can cause some added 'play' in the Achilles tendon, which can cause issues if you have ever had Achilles tendonitis.
Scott also told me that the shoe that gives them the least amount of returns are the Brooks Beast. He stated that people who get the Brooks Beast periodically return and simply request a new pair.
I have been recommending the NB 1540 for years and it has roll-bar technology with heel cushioning and is a great choice for anyone having heel pain or Hallux Limitus.