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Jan 28, 2022

Short episode summary

Can you believe it? This is episode 100! And after 100 episodes, Coaches Valerie and Caroline still get one question more than anything else. Want to know what it is? Tune in right now, and find out!


Timestamps of big takeaways


What kind of shoes to buy?

[1:28] Shoes, first of all, should be very comfortable. That's number one. You need to put that shoe on and still feel like you can stand the same in your shoe as you can barefoot.


[01:50] Shoes should also be very flexible. For endurance runners, we need flexibility, and we need our ankles in our feet to be able to move in its full range of motion.


[02:29] As a child, Coach Valerie underwent botched surgery. Her nerves had been damaged, her toes were fractured, she had two broken bones. As a result, she was told that she would never get to play sports or even run when she was nine or ten years old. She is still experiencing discomfort today. Hardly a day goes by when she doesn't have to exercise her feet, stretch, or worry about nerve damage.


[03:58] Coach Valerie shares what it was like trying to buy shoes to wear while teaching aerobics and the experience she had looking for the perfect shoe for running and aerobics.


[08:01] Shoe technology has its place and time in the world. The reality is that selecting a shoe that you're comfortable in is more important than the shoe itself for most recreational runners. Shoes are supposed to protect our feet from the elements and protect our feet from the ground.


[08:56] Too much cushioning in the shoes can actually cause people to lose their connection to the ground. As a result, they're more likely to heel strike because their brain wants to feel the ground.


Buying a barefoot shoe

[09:56] Don't just go out and buy a pair of barefoot shoes either though. If you want to buy a barefoot shoe, use it as a regular walking shoe to get your feet used to being barefoot or close to it. Many people buy a barefoot shoe, and then they injure themselves because they don’t understand how to move correctly.


Ankle stability

[10:53] When your feet touch the ground, they touch the ground completely. When the foot is in flight, it can do whatever it wants, but gravity has power over it. Your ankles are loosened when you're flying. The faster someone runs, or if they're sprinting downhill, gravity becomes even more of a factor. A heel strike, pronation, or supination can be a natural ankle motion, but if the foot lands on the ground, pronated or supinated, that's a problem. That means active landing.


[11:58] Coach Valerie explains how the foot should touchdown - initial contact should be ball of foot, and then the rest of the foot.


[13:15] Coach Valerie reiterates that the shoe is not the most important factor in running pain-free. The goal of the shoe should be for you to feel comfortable, however, your movement and moving correctly is the most important aspect of running without pain.


Pressure, support, and work we put into our feet

[17:58] If you're feeling back pain, shoulder pain, or hip pain, start at your feet, work those toes, and give them a little bit of relaxation. It's not going to be about the shoe, and it's going to be about the foot, and you're going to be a better runner as a result.


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