All minimalist shoes. 98% of my runs occur in these shoes. I even barefoot run on and off. And I spent most of last summer barefoot running. I have researched the topic and am convinced that barefoot/minimalist running is really the best for the body.
But, I have a confession. I have recently put something in my minimalist running sneakers. Custom orthotics.
Yes, you read that correctly.
I admit, I was VERY opposed to them. I would not even listen to the doctors and chiropractors who kept telling me that I needed them. Not one could give me a good reason that they would work. Plus, they were so expensive even with insurance, that I would not even consider them.
First, barefoot and minimalist running has been great. It is 1000% better than the motion control sneakers I was in, but it was not without its problems. I had mid back pain when I got to 5 miles. I had slight plantar facitiis issues develop. I got some horrible shin splints. And I had IT band issues. So, minimalist running was not the "cure all" for me that I had hoped it would be.
Second, I recently went to a new chiropractor. She is trained in many different areas and I went to her for scar tissue work. During my initial meeting with her, she took one look at my feet (I was wearing flip flops) and asked if I had problems with back pain, etc while running. I explained my myriad of problems and then she, as all other chiropractors had done, told me I needed custom orthotics.
I blew her off. I told her I barefoot/minimalist run. I gave her a brief explanation of how I did not think custom orthotics were not for me. And then she explained something.
|Not my foot!|
Then she did a scan of my feet. And, after a year of minimalist running, my arches were as flat as they were a year ago. When I saw the scan I was so upset. I thought, for sure, that my feet would have changed during that time. But they haven't. And I spend most of my days barefoot.
That convinced me to at least try the orthotics. That, and the fact that I was able to get them at cost, which is cheaper that I could get them through insurance.
My custom orthotics are in my Pearl Izumi Streaks right now and I will tell you that they do feel good. It is a totally different feel from the motion control sneakers I used to wear. It will be interesting to see how they affect my running and my injury rate!