Podcast 149: A runner's podcast. Many things running and biomechanics.


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Just Google "the gait guys podcast".

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www.thegaitguys.com
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doctorallen.co
summitchiroandrehab.com
shawnallen.net

Our website is all you need to remember. Everything you want, need and wish for is right there on the site.
Interested in our stuff ? Want to buy some of our lectures or our National Shoe Fit program? Click here (thegaitguys.com or thegaitguys.tumblr.com) and you will come to our websites. In the tabs, you will find tabs for STORE, SEMINARS, BOOK etc. We also lecture every 3rd Wednesday of the month on onlineCE.com. We have an extensive catalogued library of our courses there, you can take them any time for a nominal fee (~$20).

Our podcast is on iTunes and just about every other podcast harbor site, just google "the gait guys podcast", you will find us.

Where to find us, the podcast Links:
Apple podcasts:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138?mt=2

Google Play:
https://play.google.com/music/m/Icdfyphojzy3drj2tsxaxuadiue?t=The_Gait_Guys_Podcast

Other links:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/pod_149_-_71319_7.44_AM.mp3
http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/a-runners-podcast-many-things-running-and-biomechanics
http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/10506122



Show notes:


Exercise matters
3 months of exercise training reprogrammed the epigenetics of sperm DNA in healthy young men. Exercise silenced genes in sperm DNA involved in schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, cervical cancer, leukemia, and autism
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25864559?dopt=Abstract
Epigenomics. 2015 Aug;7(5):717-31. doi: 10.2217/epi.15.29. Epub 2015 Apr 13.
Genome-wide sperm DNA methylation changes after 3 months of exercise training in humans.
Denham J1, O'Brien BJ2, Harvey JT2, Charchar FJ

Footstrike doesnt matter?
https://www.outsideonline.com/2397214/foot-strike-running-study

Adaptation of Running Biomechanics to Repeated Barefoot Running: A Randomized Controlled Study - Karsten Hollander, Dominik Liebl, Stephanie Meining, Klaus Mattes, Steffen Willwacher, Astrid Zech, 2019
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0363546519849920
Is There an Economical Running Technique? A Review of Modifiable Biomechanical Factors Affecting Running Economy.
Moore IS. Sports Med. 2016.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26816209/

Running Technique is an Important Component of Running Economy and Performance.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28263283/
Folland JP, et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017.
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0363546519849920

Important to note though than less vertical oscillation is associated with better economy within groups of distance runners, eg ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28263… ; ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26816… compliant tendons but greater leg stiffness is the goal for distance runners, correct?

This video shows how end. runners compliance & economy are achieved by greater vertical excursions vs. sprinters who hit hard, get off the ground fast and burn more energy.
https://www.nytimes.com/video/sports/100000004379956/identifying-the-best-way-to-run.html

typically have peak vertical forces of 2.5-3.0 times body weight to offset gravity during contact portion of the stride.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEnIbklXOiU

Effects of footwear midsole thickness on running biomechanics
Sports Medicine and Biomechanics
Mark H.C. Law, Eric M.F. Choi, Stephanie H.Y. Law, Subrina S.C. Chan , Sonia M.S. Wong, Eric C.K. Ching
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640414.2018.1538066?journalCode=rjsp20

Knee muscle forces during walking and running in patellofemoral pain patients and pain-free controls.
Thor F.Besiera, Michael Fredericsona, Garry E.Gold, Gary S.Beaupréd, Scott L.Delp
Journal of Biomechanics Volume 42, Issue 7, 11 May 2009, Pages 898-905
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0021929009000396

The Minimalist shoe Rating Scale and Definition

Last year we were two of 42 experts worldwide from 11 countries asked to participate and offer our thoughts in an investigation whose goal it was to come up with a rating scale and definition for minimalist shoes. 

Here is that study: 

A consensus definition and rating scale for minimalist shoes.  Jean-Francois Esculier123, Blaise Dubois13, Clermont E. Dionne14, Jean Leblond2 andJean-Sébastien Roy.   Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2015, 8:42 

here is a link for that study: http://www.jfootankleres.com/content/8/1/42

This study was performed by very capable and respected folks so you should pay attention. 

Here was their background statement:

“While minimalist running shoes may have an influence on running biomechanics and on the incidence of overuse injuries, the term “minimalist” is currently used without standardisation. The objectives of this study were to reach a consensus on a standard definition of minimalist running shoes, and to develop and validate a rating scale that could be used to determine the degree of minimalism of running shoes, the Minimalist Index (MI).”

We might not do the study justice if we paraphrased the conclusions, so here they are as written,

“The following definition of minimalist shoes was agreed upon by 95 % of participants: “Footwear providing minimal interference with the natural movement of the foot due to its high flexibility, low heel to toe drop, weight and stack height, and the absence of motion control and stability devices”. Characteristics to be included in MI were weight, flexibility, heel to toe drop, stack height and motion control/stability devices, each subscale carrying equal weighing (20 %) on final score.”

So why is this study important ? Well, it creates a common term, a standardized definition, we can all agree upon which is paramount for clear communication amongst professionals in fields (shoe fitters, shoe fabricators, clinicians and researchers) who are dealing with these types of shoes. This study also create a rating scale that will be meaningful to all users in all related fields, again allowing a common dialogue with standardized meaning. From this study they wisely recommended “the shoe industry use such standardised ratings to orientate the running community when selecting their running shoes”.  

This is an important study, it should be part of your knowledge and vocabulary. You should familiarize yourself to the rating scale. 

Shawn and Ivo, the gait guys

Podcast 94: The Shoe & Motor Control Podcast

Shoes, Minimalism, Maximalism, Motor fatigue, Brain stuff and more !

A. Link to our server:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/pod_94final.mp3

Direct Download:  http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/podcast-94

-Other Gait Guys stuff
B. iTunes link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138
C. Gait Guys online /download store (National Shoe Fit Certification & more !)
http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.aspx?m=80204
D. other web based Gait Guys lectures:
Monthly lectures at : www.onlinece.com type in Dr. Waerlop or Dr. Allen, ”Biomechanics”

-Our Book: Pedographs and Gait Analysis and Clinical Case Studies
Electronic copies available here:

-Amazon/Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Pedographs-Gait-Analysis-Clinical-Studies-ebook/dp/B00AC18M3E

-Barnes and Noble / Nook Reader:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pedographs-and-gait-analysis-ivo-waerlop-and-shawn-allen/1112754833?ean=9781466953895

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pedographs-and-gait-analysis/id554516085?mt=11

-Hardcopy available from our publisher:
http://bookstore.trafford.com/Products/SKU-000155825/Pedographs-and-Gait-Analysis.aspx

Show notes:

movement and brain function; based on your piece: http://www.vancouversun.com/touch/story.html?id=11237102\

shoe fit:
http://running.competitor.com/2015/07/shoes-and-gear/sole-man-the-pros-and-cons-of-buying-cheap-running-shoes_129297

http://www.runresearchjunkie.com/relevant-gems-from-the-2015-footwear-biomechanics-symposium/

Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2006 Dec;21(10):1090-7. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

The effect of lower extremity fatigue on shock attenuation during single-leg landing.

Coventry E1, O'Connor KM, Hart BA, Earl JE, Ebersole KT.

Dr. Ted Carrick podcast

http://thewellnesscouch.com/bc/bc-07-professor-frederick-ted-carrick-on-the-past-of-functional-neurology

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/backchat/id972497993?mt=2

movement patterns talk: http://www.anatomy-physiotherapy.com/28-systems/musculoskeletal/lower-extremity/knee/1191-altered-movement-patterns-in-individuals-with-acl-rupture

http://lermagazine.com/issues/june/balance-data-suggest-somatosensory-benefit-of-minimalist-footwear-design
Wilson SJ, Chander H, Morris CE, et al. Alternative footwear’s influence on static balance following a one-mile walk. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2015;46(5 Suppl);S562.

http://lermagazine.com/issues/june/running-shoe-reveal-study-links-max-cushioning-higher-load

movement patterns talk: http://www.anatomy-physiotherapy.com/28-systems/musculoskeletal/lower-extremity/knee/1191-altered-movement-patterns-in-individuals-with-acl-rupture

If you plan to live that long, you better start thinking about preservation:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102730128  

Music piece/ Bass players:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/64955/science-proves-supreme-power-bassists

Podcast 87: Podcast 87: The Kenyan's Running Brain & "The" Anterior Compartment.

Plus, Some unknown facts about going minimalism and barefoot. We POUND anterior compartment strength today gang ! Hope you enjoy !

Show sponsors:
www.newbalancechicago.com

A. Link to our server: 
http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/pod_87final.mp3

Direct Download: 
http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/podcast-87

Other Gait Guys stuff

B. iTunes link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138

C. Gait Guys online /download store (National Shoe Fit Certification and more !) :
http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.aspx?m=80204

D. other web based Gait Guys lectures:
Monthly lectures at : www.onlinece.com   type in Dr. Waerlop or Dr. Allen,  ”Biomechanics”

Show notes:


On high heels and short muscles: A multiscale model for sarcomere loss in the gastrocnemius muscle

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022519314006262

The Brain Needs Oxygen

Maintained cerebral oxygenation during maximal self-paced exercise in elite Kenyan runners.

http://www.runnersworld.com/racing/the-brain-needs-oxygen
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25414248
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2014 Nov 20:jap.00909.2014. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00909.2014. [Epub ahead of print]

The texting lane in China
http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2014/sep/15/china-mobile-phone-lane-distracted-walking-pedestrians

Dialogue on endurance training,
NeuroRehabilitation. 2006;21(1):43-50. 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16720937

Effects of dorsiflexor endurance exercises on foot drop secondary to multiple sclerosis.  Mount J1, Dacko S.

APOS Therapy
we were asked out opinion on this
http://apostherapy.com/

Foot instrinsic dialogue
Motor Control. 2014 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print]

Quantifying the Contributions of a Flexor Digitorum Brevis Muscle on Postural Stability.
Okai LA1, Kohn AF.

There are many factors in adults that impair gait. It is not all biomechanical. This is part of our ongoing dialogue on the aging population and why gait impairments and falls are so prevalent.
Acta Bioeng Biomech. 2014;16(1):3-9.
Differences in gait pattern between the elderly and the young during level walking under low illumination.
Choi JS, Kang DW, Shin YH, Tack GR.


Podcast 72: Neuroplasticity, EVA Shoe Foam, and Shoe Trends

Maximalist shoes and the death of Minimalism ? Could this be true ?

*Show sponsor: www.newbalancechicago.com

Lems Shoes.  www.lemsshoes.comMention GAIT15 at check out for a 15% discount through August 31st, 2014.

A. Link to our server: 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/pod_73f.mp3

Direct Download: 

http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/podcast-72

B. iTunes link:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138

C. Gait Guys online /download store (National Shoe Fit Certification and more !) :

http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.aspx?m=80204

D. other web based Gait Guys lectures:

www.onlinece.com   type in Dr. Waerlop or Dr. Allen,  ”Biomechanics”

______________

Today’s Show notes:

1. Neuroplasticity: Your Brain’s Amazing Ability to Form New Habits
new link (does not have the old photo ivo mentioned that he loved)
 
2. Last week we pounded the sand on EVA foam and maximalist shoes. There was alot of attention, emails and good social media discussion on the topic.  
LETS REVIEW IT
file:///Users/admin/Downloads/p142_Heel_shoe_interactions_and_EVA_foam_f_web_150dpi.pdf
 
3. Then there just last week there was an article in LER on “the death of minimalist shoes” ? 
READ THIS: 
The rise and fall of minimalist footwear | Lower Extremity Review Magazine
http://lermagazine.com/cover_story/the-rise-and-fall-of-minimalist-footwear
 

4.  Physical Therapy as Effective as Surgery for Meniscal Tear

Kathleen Louden

March 20, 2013
Torn Meniscus? Thinking about surgery? Think again…

5. Cast study: the broken foot tripod

The Naked Foot: The Soft Neurology behind Barefoot.

The Naked Foot: Thoughts for the Shoe Minimalist

This may be one of the very first articles we ever wrote for The Gait Guys. It must be 7-8 years old now, before the barefoot-minimalist craze ever started. It is a bit dated, but we think that it was time to revisit its contents. You will see that many of our early core principles have not changed and you can see the thought process of where the fads and trends were projected to go.  Wind your mind back a near decade, and read on !

_____________________

If you want to follow the fad craze these days, just look to companies like Vibram and Nike. Vibram is the company that has brought you the soles and treads of many of the shoes you have worn over the years and of course Nike are the people who first brought you the “running shoe” as we know it today. Nike first brought us the waffle bottom trainer, the cross trainer, air pockets, “shocks” and, the Air Jordan and now their barefoot minimalist series, the Nike Free. Now, we are sure not many of you have heard of the “Vibram Five Fingers” barefoot slip-on ‘shoe’ but virtually everyone who runs in some manner has seen and heard about the Nike Free. What initially stymied us when they first came out was the obvious question of “Why would the same people who sell us the shoes, and give us so many varieties and categories to choose from, now be advocating that we train barefoot, or close to it? ” Or are they ?

  • (Addendum:  this article was originally written long ago, at the start of this fad, the fad that has become a trend.  The article traveled fast around the internet and garnered us much attention including a gig with Vibram as consultants.  But that was then, this is now.  We, and the trend have come a long way, and so has the research.  Some supportive for the trend, some disagreements and plenty of controversy.  The remainder of this article has been unedited, hence its tense and outdated verbiage, shoe types and research.  But we thought it was time to review before moving ahead.)

The Nike version they are pushing, first the Nike Free 5 and now down to the Nike Free 3, has a light weight thin flexible sole and thin vamp top cover material whoís purpose is to merely hold the shoe onto the foot. The Vibram device, which is a fascinating yet simple slipper, is even more simplistic but has some brilliance built right into its heart. It is merely a rubber sock with compartments for each individual toe but that is part of its brilliance. So why would Nike and now Vibram go against their own creations and advocate that we begin walking and running barefoot, or at least become more “shoe-minimalists” after decades of building shoe and sole lines that previously were designed for various conditions, foot types and activities ? There appears to be sound moral reasoning if you delve into the research, but you have to look closely and you have to be careful you do not have one of those foot types that could lead to problems with this type of footwear (but that is a topic for another article to come soon, see Part II).

Barefoot theories are nothing new. In 1960 Abebe Bikila, perhaps the greatest barefoot runner of all time, won the first of his consecutive gold medals without shoes setting a world record of 2:15:17. Englandís Bruce Tulloh was setting overseas records into the 1960’s running unshod, skin to the ground. Today Ken Bob Saxton is one of the most visible barefoot marathoners, long beard and all, and is an advocate of the technique.

With the introduction of the Nike Free, the interest in barefoot running resurfaced at the turn of the century. An article by Michael Warburton, published as an internet paper on barefoot theories, seemed to spark some of the resurgence of the method of running. In his brilliant paper he had some interesting thoughts and pointed out some noteworthy facts. He indicated that research showed that an extra mass of 100 grams attached to the foot diminished the economy of running by one percent. Thus, two 10 ounce shoes (the weight of a lightweight training shoe) could compoundingly cripple you by more than five percent in efficiency. In tangible terms that could be more than six minutes tacked onto a world class marathoner, taking a world record time to a mere first group finishing time. So, it is a question of weight and time, or is there something more ?

To get started with some hard and simple research facts, current research has been conducted showing that plantar (bottom of the foot) sensory feedback plays a central role in safe and effective locomotion, that more shoe cushioning can lead to higher impact forces on the joints and higher risk of injury, that unshod (without shoes) lowers contact time versus shod running, that there are higher braking and pushing impulses in shod versus unshod running, that unshod running presents a reduction of impact peak force that would reduce the high mechanical stress that occurs during repetitive running and that the unshod foot induces a neural-mechanical adaptation which could enhance the storage and restitution of elastic energy at ankle extensor level. These are only some of the research findings but they are some of the more significant ones. These issues will not only support injury management benefits for the unshod runner but increase speed, force and power output.

Stepping backwards in time a little, in the caveman days things were different. The foot was unshod (without shoes) from the moment of the first step until one’s dying day, and thus the foot developed and looked different. The sole of the foot was thicker and callused due to the constant contact with rough and offending surfaces thus preventing skin penetration, the foot proper was more muscular and it may have been wider in the forefoot and the toes were likely slightly separated due to the demands of gripping which would obviously necessitate increase muscular strength and bulk to the foot intrinsic muscles. It was the constant input of uneven and offending surfaces such as rocks, twigs, mud, foliage and debris that stimulated the bottom of the foot, and thus the intrinsic muscles, sensing joint positions and relaying those variations to the brain for corresponding descending motor changes and adaptations to maintain protection and balance. The foot simply worked different, it worked better, it worked more like the engineering marvel that it truly is. The foot was uncovered and the surfaces we walked on were uneven and challenging. However, as time went on, man decided to mess with a good thing. He took a foot that was highly sensitive, a virtual sensory organ with a significant sensory and motor representation in the brain (only the hands and face have more brain representation as represented by the sensory and motor homunculus of the brain) and he not only covered it up with a slab of leather or rubber but he then flattened and then paved not only his world, but also his home, with black hard top, cement, wood or tile thus completing the total sensory information deprivation of the entire foot. Thus, not only did he take away critical adaptive skills from himself and generations to follow, but he began the deprivation of the brain of critical information from which the central nervous system would need to develop and continue to function effectively. It is not unlikely that the man of pre-shod time had a strong competent foot arch (perhaps somewhat flat to increase surface area contact for adaptation), but one that did not need orthotics, stability shoes or rigid shanks and inserts. In other words, the foot and its lower limb muscles were strong with exceptional skills and endurance. But in today’s day and time things are now different. We now affix a shoe to the child’s foot even before he can walk and then when he does, all propriosensory information necessary for the development of critical spinal and central nervous system reflexes is ensured to be virtually absent. Is it any wonder why there are so many people in chronic pain from postural disorders related to central core weakness and inhibition ? Is it any wonder why so many people seem to have flat incompetent feet and arches? Man has done it to himself, but thankfully man has proven that what he can do, he can undo. Thankfully we see modern medical research that has delved into this realm of thought and has uncovered the woes of our ways and to follow, companies like those mentioned earlier are imagining and developing devices that will allow us some protection from modern day offenses such as glass, plastics and metal and thus allow us the slow and gradual return to our healthier foot days, all fashion sense aside.

 Shawn and Ivo, The Gait Guys

Two fellas that were here at the beginning, and two fellas that will be here for the duration.  

More shoe foam may mean more problems. 
 Last night we had a great online teleseminar ( www.onlinece.com ).  The talk was minimialism.  Here was 2 of our take home points: 
 More foam in the shoe is not always good.  
 “Shoes with cushioning fail to absorb impact when humans run and jump, and amplify force under certain conditions, because   soft materials used as interfaces between the foot and support surface elicit a predictable reduction in impact-moderating behavior.   ” -Robbins 
  Basically barefoot feet, and even shoes with thinner foam/soled shoes, tend to judge impact more precisely because there is less foam to dampen proprioceptive input. The more foam  you stack under the foot, the more material that must be deformed before a sufficiently rigid surface can be detected by the foot.  Think of this, what do we do in rehab ? We stand people on stacked foam to give them an unstable surface (if they have championed balance challenges on a stable surface first, this is an important first step).  When the foot cannot find a firm platform it searches for stability and drowns in the instability.  This can be what more foam under the foot provides, inability to reference stable ground surface can negatively impact proprioceptive joint and tissue receptors.    
  2. Impact loading behaviors.    
  if we know the surface (the shoe or the actual surface/ground) is unstable, we will modify the pending impact loading behavior. In other words, you will jump differently onto a frozen puddle than you would dry ground.  Studies have shown that the more foam a shoe has (ie. the more the potential instability from the example above) the greater the reduction of impact moderating behavior.    
 
  Humans reduce impact-moderating behavior in direct relation to increased instability.- Robbins  
 
  hope to see you in the next online teleseminar in 4 weeks !  
  shawn and ivo  
  reference:  
  BioMechanics April 1998   
  Materials: Do soft soles improve running shoes?  Most athletic shoes advertise injury protection through “cushioning,” but real world studies have not shown impact moderation.  By Steven Robbins, MD, Edward Waked, PhD, and Gad Saad, PhD

More shoe foam may mean more problems.

Last night we had a great online teleseminar (www.onlinece.com). The talk was minimialism. Here was 2 of our take home points:

More foam in the shoe is not always good.

“Shoes with cushioning fail to absorb impact when humans run and jump, and amplify force under certain conditions, because soft materials used as interfaces between the foot and support surface elicit a predictable reduction in impact-moderating behavior. ” -Robbins

Basically barefoot feet, and even shoes with thinner foam/soled shoes, tend to judge impact more precisely because there is less foam to dampen proprioceptive input. The more foam you stack under the foot, the more material that must be deformed before a sufficiently rigid surface can be detected by the foot. Think of this, what do we do in rehab ? We stand people on stacked foam to give them an unstable surface (if they have championed balance challenges on a stable surface first, this is an important first step). When the foot cannot find a firm platform it searches for stability and drowns in the instability. This can be what more foam under the foot provides, inability to reference stable ground surface can negatively impact proprioceptive joint and tissue receptors.

2. Impact loading behaviors.

if we know the surface (the shoe or the actual surface/ground) is unstable, we will modify the pending impact loading behavior. In other words, you will jump differently onto a frozen puddle than you would dry ground. Studies have shown that the more foam a shoe has (ie. the more the potential instability from the example above) the greater the reduction of impact moderating behavior.

Humans reduce impact-moderating behavior in direct relation to increased instability.- Robbins

hope to see you in the next online teleseminar in 4 weeks !

shawn and ivo

reference:

BioMechanics April 1998

Materials: Do soft soles improve running shoes?
Most athletic shoes advertise injury protection through “cushioning,” but real world studies have not shown impact moderation.
By Steven Robbins, MD, Edward Waked, PhD, and Gad Saad, PhD

Tomorrow we lecture on Minimalistic Footwear and its impact on runners on onlinece.com and chirocredit.com. Join Us. Biomechaics 318; 8PM Eastern, 7 Central, 6 Mountain, 5 Pacific. 
 All the cool people will be there and if you attend, you will know why barefoot is not the same as minimal

Tomorrow we lecture on Minimalistic Footwear and its impact on runners on onlinece.com and chirocredit.com. Join Us. Biomechaics 318; 8PM Eastern, 7 Central, 6 Mountain, 5 Pacific.

All the cool people will be there and if you attend, you will know why barefoot is not the same as minimal

Minimalism: Is there a formula?    
    On one of our many forays into cyberspace, we ran across this easy to understand formula, from one of our friends Blaise Dubois. After we contacted him, he allowed us to reprint it here, for your enjoyment. Thank You Blaise!  
  In his words:   “What is the relationship between the FiveFingers, Brooks’ Pure Connect, the Nike Free 4.0 and the Adizero Hagio from Adidas? All are considered “minimalist” running shoes. However, their drop ranges from 0 to 12 mm, their thickness is between 3 and 23 mm while their respective weight and flexibility vary considerably. 
 In my own opinion, the best definition for minimalism bears a qualitative connotation: “The least amount of shoes you can safely wear now.” Given its qualitative nature, we are bound to define tighter parameters in order to quantify the minimalist definition for running shoes. 
 Up until now, I would have suggested the following set of characteristics for a clear definition of minimalist running shoes: a drop that was less than 5 mm (heel to toe height differential), a 15 mm stack (thickness at the heel) and a weight lower than 7 oz. (200 g). On the other hand, maximalism would have been defined based on the following: a 7 mm drop, a 20 mm stack along with a weight exceeding 9 oz. (250 g). 
 Today, we propose a new formula so that you can rate your running shoes on a scale from 1 to 100 (100 being “extremely minimalist” -bare feet- and 1 “extremely maximalist”). The range of variation of your final rating will be more or less 5 points regardless of the comfort criteria, which is subjective. The only thing you need to do is to choose a language, then select the tab of your country at the bottom of the formula page, rate your shoes on the 6 criteria set out and there you go! Please note that we have used average values for criteria to which you don’t have the information. The multiple formats of the formula for every country are represented in accordance with their measuring system, currency and the average selling price of a running shoe for each of these countries. 
 As for health professionals and scientists, you will see that weighting factors have been applied to all criteria as a function of their importance, which is their effect on the body (biomechanics, tissue adaptation, etc.) 
 Here’s the formula translated in 3 languages (click on the selected language to access) :  English   French   Spanish  
 You can now rate your running shoes based upon The Running Clinic’s “TRC Rating” methodology!” 
     
     
  The Gait Guys. Bringing you the meat, the whole meat and nothing but the meat!  
     
  from:    http://www.therunningclinic.ca/blog/2012/09/definition-du-minimalisme-defining-minimalism/     used with permission from the author

Minimalism: Is there a formula?

On one of our many forays into cyberspace, we ran across this easy to understand formula, from one of our friends Blaise Dubois. After we contacted him, he allowed us to reprint it here, for your enjoyment. Thank You Blaise!

In his words:
“What is the relationship between the FiveFingers, Brooks’ Pure Connect, the Nike Free 4.0 and the Adizero Hagio from Adidas? All are considered “minimalist” running shoes. However, their drop ranges from 0 to 12 mm, their thickness is between 3 and 23 mm while their respective weight and flexibility vary considerably.

In my own opinion, the best definition for minimalism bears a qualitative connotation: “The least amount of shoes you can safely wear now.” Given its qualitative nature, we are bound to define tighter parameters in order to quantify the minimalist definition for running shoes.

Up until now, I would have suggested the following set of characteristics for a clear definition of minimalist running shoes: a drop that was less than 5 mm (heel to toe height differential), a 15 mm stack (thickness at the heel) and a weight lower than 7 oz. (200 g). On the other hand, maximalism would have been defined based on the following: a 7 mm drop, a 20 mm stack along with a weight exceeding 9 oz. (250 g).

Today, we propose a new formula so that you can rate your running shoes on a scale from 1 to 100 (100 being “extremely minimalist” -bare feet- and 1 “extremely maximalist”). The range of variation of your final rating will be more or less 5 points regardless of the comfort criteria, which is subjective. The only thing you need to do is to choose a language, then select the tab of your country at the bottom of the formula page, rate your shoes on the 6 criteria set out and there you go! Please note that we have used average values for criteria to which you don’t have the information. The multiple formats of the formula for every country are represented in accordance with their measuring system, currency and the average selling price of a running shoe for each of these countries.

As for health professionals and scientists, you will see that weighting factors have been applied to all criteria as a function of their importance, which is their effect on the body (biomechanics, tissue adaptation, etc.)

Here’s the formula translated in 3 languages (click on the selected language to access) :
English
French
Spanish

You can now rate your running shoes based upon The Running Clinic’s “TRC Rating” methodology!”


The Gait Guys. Bringing you the meat, the whole meat and nothing but the meat!


from: http://www.therunningclinic.ca/blog/2012/09/definition-du-minimalisme-defining-minimalism/  used with permission from the author

The Collective Goal of Natural Running. The Gait Guys Opinion.


Is this minimalist shoe trend a fad or is it truly a trend? What is the truth. (What are you not being told ?)

It appears that over the last few years this question is finding its own answer, for the most part.

We believe this minimalist direction has become entrenched enough now seeing the increased work and attention from most companies. We suspect that this is a firm trend which will not be going anywhere soon, although modifications will be likely. The research papers are convincing that there are benefits. However, we feel the industry is not spending enough time discussing the risks and concerns. And we are finding out that there are two issues here on that topic.

1. That discussing the demerits of a product is not likely good marketing.

2. One must know the underlying problems around the product, and more importantly the foot that is going into the product to understand a product’s drawbacks and risks.

None the less, there are issues not being talked about.

The fact of the matter is that some foot types do not, and never will, have any business being in such minimalistic shoes (ie. a rigid flat foot pes planovalgus or a rigid forefoot varus foot type are just a few examples). We remain concerned about the vague existing dialogue that these types of shoes will make everyone’s feet stronger. For some, they will, but many times strength education must be directed (There is a right way to do a squat, and a wrong way. There is a right strategy for toe off, and a wrong one.). With the wrong strategies employed, one can easily strengthen the incorrect motor patterns. Merely putting on a minimalistic shoe does not mean that the correct patterns and strategies for foot strengthening are being instituted. The shoes do not come with a magic potion guarantee. For those with challenged foot types (FF varus, Rothbart Foot, cavovarus foot, excessive tibial varum and/or tibial torsion etc) these folks will likely trend towards local foot problems or injuries further up the kinetic chain (hip, knee, low back etc). Understandably, these are heavy medical terms and conditions but they are very much out there in the running public and with little attention to the “buyer beware” warning when attempting to add a minimalist shoe to their mix. We know these issues exist, we see them daily in our clinic. As we see it, the problem could be that those providing the education often do not have enough clinical background to know what these issues are let alone recognize them or prescribe the right shoe for the combined presentation . So how can they then draw these issues to the surface in educating the public ? As we say in our lectures, “You first have to know what a platypus is in order to identify it. Otherwise it is just a hedge hog with flippers and a duck bill.” This is the elephant in the room that everyone is missing, everyone except us. We get the folks who are running in these minimalist devices and we get to see those who should never have been in them in the first place.

The good thing is that many companies are setting up educational programs to help folks drop down into “minimalism 2.0”. But still, to date, two problems exists in that arena.

1. no one is talking about the elephants in the room, those being those foot types that are too risky to be in the shoes and even more specifically, how to strengthen the foot. But who would admit to those risks, that would be stupid advertising.

2. those teaching the courses and those individuals that rep for the companies and act as an intermediary between the shoe company and the store either do not have the fundamental knowledge to educate the shoe stores about the merits and demerits of the products or they find there is too much of a knowledge gap between the parties so things are left unspoken. You have to be able to see the elephant in the room to address it.

It is at the heart of these issues that we feel we can make a difference. A few companies are finally listening to us on these topics. We are getting more calls, emails and inquiries as to how we can help them bring these issues to light and improve upon their products. Sadly, most companies are not doing the same and we feel they will be left behind. Companies are sharing exciting yet difficult challenges and many are struggling to catch up. Some of them are really on board and doing their homework and are coming to the table with really impressive dialogue. We are excited to work closely with these types of companies so that all runners can reap the safe and effective benefits of better products and more knowledgeable intermediaries. These companies, some big, some small, get a big thumbs up from us because the knowledge behind the product is spot on but more so because the product is excellent and does what it says it is supposed to do and goes beyond what the other products seem to be doing at this point. But there is always someone around the corner pushing the guys at the front.

Our one ‘stick in the mud’ issue is that still no one is talking about the elephants. And we believe its mostly because no one can see them. There is a main danger in doing too much barefoot running too soon. We made this clear initially on Vibram’s website when we wrote the part on how to progress out of your running shoe and down into Vibrams. For us it is, and has always been, about “keeping them honest” and putting out the facts. But don’t expect us not to make mistakes, nor to not own up to them. But do expect us to try to “right the wrongs”. From time to time we try to make the calls on the products that have questionable statements and applaud those that stick their neck out to do the right thing. We do not know everything, but we seem to know much more than many when it comes to the biomechanics of what is going in a product and in knowing when there is a giant tusked animal in the room.

If you put 10 different feet in a product, you will get 10 different biomechanical presentations from the shoe, and that is the difficult truth. So, logically, much of what is being missed is the education of that issues and of what is going on in the shoe, and that is our world. It is usually the problems that exist with the thing you are putting into all of these products, a person. A person who likely does not have the classic middle of the road, ‘Average Foot’ these shoes may have been designed and researched around.

To us, the most important thing is to raise the knowledge and awareness to the public, shoe companies, shoe stores and everyone else in between.

At this point, if this minimalist shoe trend is to survive we believe there must be enough companies that extol the virtues of honesty and education to the end user, the shoe company-shoe rep intermediaries, running form clinic presenters and educators. And, that means talking also about the elephants in the room. Our new, soon to launch, Shoe Fit Educational Program will help everyone get on the same page, and the same elephant.

Shawn Allen and Ivo Waerlop……… The Gait Guys

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Barefoot? Minimalism? I thought barefoot WAS minimalist?

 

Barefoot fever has really caught on over the last year or so. It seemed to start with the advent of the Vibram 5 fingers several years ago (which Dr Waerlop was a biomechanics and design consultant for) and seems to have blossomed to include many different types of footwear.

In the strictest sense, barefoot means NO SHOES or UNSHOD. There are hygenic and social reasons we cover  (or need to cover) our feet, and thus the advent of the many types and styles of footwear we are seeing crop up in stores everywhere. This shoes have minimal amounts of bells and whistles (read support and rigidity) and thus promote a barefoot STYLE of walking or running. These “shoes” also have a low (or no) ramp angle. The ramp angle is how much higher the heel is in elevation than the forefoot.  Most traditional running shoes have a 2:1 ratio…..the heel is twice as high as the forefoot.  The average might be a net 10-20mm rise in the heel height over the forefoot rendering a ramp angle of approximately 15degrees.  So when we say barefoot and include these minimalistic shoes we are referring to shoes with a ramp angle of less than 2-3 degrees and less than 5 mm heel rise.

According the the last two studies published in Nature, by Dr Daniel Lieberman, barefoot or minimalistic activites appear to have many advantages: less stress on the joints, less impact forces on the body and increased proprioception (awareness of your body parts, in this case feet, in space).

 

The barefoot model is based on the simple fact that the movement of our anatomy for thousands of years has been always been that the heel and ball of our foot rest on the same plane. This is the ground work for the normal workings and biomechanics of the foot.  When we take the heel and raise it onto a level above the forefoot (as most running and dress shoes do) the body will have to make biomechanical changes to that very same anatomy that loves level ground. It is now being proven over and over again that this altered positioning and corrupted biomechanics may be what are driving much of the foot and lower limb problems we see out in the world.  Whether it is plantar fascitis, shin splints, achilles problem, toe problems, or just general foot or ankle pain, these altered biomechanics are highly suspicious culprits.

 

This is not to say that everyone can go barefoot or is ready to immediately go barefoot, despite the picture the shoe vendors and media are painting. Some folks have to gradually work their way down into lower ramp angled shoe affording the time and tissue changes that will come with adapting to different heel heights.  It can take some time for the calf muscles and achilles to restore their original length or take time to regain the strength of the foot intrinsic muscles so that the foot can no longer depend on the shoe for stability but rather it can learn to depend on the anatomy of ligaments and muscles to provide the support like our shoeless ancestors of centuries past.  This is where  minimalsitic shoes come in. They provide a transition from where you are to where you want to be. Other folks have anatomic foot types that just cannot cope well with a pure “barefoot technique” and will probably need to remain in some type of transitional shoe.

There are exercises and drills, along with types of manual therapy and muscle activation techniques that can help speed the transition from your current footwear to being a minimalist. Make sure you consult with providers with plenty of experience that are familiar with and competent with these methods.

We are still 2 foot nerds, out there making a difference…The Gait Guys