Tags: education, foot, foot function, foot shape, Science

“When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.”

Anthony J. D’Angelo

Most recreational runners run at slow speeds (6-10mph; 10-16km/h) using heel-first contact (Mann and Hagy, 1980; Shrinivasan and Ruina, 2006), making most runners ‘joggers’. It is a natural and safe gait pattern at slow speeds, on soft surfaces and with functional-compliant feet. Forces are relatively low and shock absorption is good under these conditions. Running this way becomes unsafe when performed on hard surfaces with shoe-shaped, high-arched feet as impact force is large and shock absorption is poor. For more information please read the article “Jogging is a natural gait“.

Shoe-shaped feet with high-rigid arches (‘compensated’ shoe-shaped/subtle cavus feet) affect 52-81% of adults (Brewerton et al, 1963; de Oliveira et al., 2018). The prevalence is also high in athletes, where the inflexible feet and ankles, combined with high forces, leads to common running injuries including: stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, lateral ankle sprains, IT band syndrome and Achilles tendinopathy (Manoli and Graham, 2017).

The root of the ‘compensated’ shoe-shaped foot problem is compromised forefoot structure. For running to be safe, the foot must be cushioned while its structure is restored. The solution is a shoe that is

1.      Foot shaped, with a flat toe box, permitting the toes to spread and the forefoot to flatten and widen under load and;

2.      Sufficiently cushioned to absorb the impact that the inflexible foot and ankle cannot.

The new nimbleToes Addict is based on these concepts and this science.

Want to get your hands on a pair of nimbleToes?

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  • Brewerton DA, Sandifer PH und Sweetnam DR. Idiopathic pes cavus: an investigation into its aetiology. British Medical Journal. 1963; 14(2): 659-61.
  • de Oliveira AS, dos Santos ALG, de Souza Nery CA, Alloza JFM, Prado MP. Subtle cavus foot: prevalence of associated injuries. Foot and Ankle. 2018; doi 10.30795/scifootankle.2018.v2.760.
  • Mann RA, Hagy JL. Biomechanics of walking, running and sprinting. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1980; 8(5): 345-350.
  • Manoli, A und Graham B. Clinical and new aspects of the subtle cavus foot: a review of an additional twelve year experience. Fuss and Sprunggelenk. 2018; 16: 3-29.
  • Srinivasan M and Ruina A. Computer optimization of a minimal biped model discovers walking and running. Nature. 2006; 439: 72-75.

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