See this on our forum...
I've had an interesting couple of weeks of running. I have been running really comfortably in my New Balance MT101s. They are a cross-country minimalist shoe, so no gradient from heel to toe, and very little cushioning. Over the last year, I've run mostly in the trails with these shoes, but now that I'm preparing for an ultra distance run that includes cobblestone and rock, I've begun running on the road with these also.
Well, I got a little nervous a month ago, that I could not sustain the very long distance in these minimalist shoes. I started researching every shoe on the market, looking for something with a very flexible sole to match what I'm running in, but with more squish. NB is coming out with one late March, but that is too close to my race date. In the meantime, I bought a Brooks Pure Flow. They feel like slippers, and the sole is really bendy. I've done two three longer runs in them, and the knee pain raised it's ugly head. I've blamed it on skiing, weight in my pack, inconsistent downhill running, knee alignment in my cycling cleats. During my latest run, it was really obvious that it was MUCH more work running in these shoes than my NB 101s. I can feel my feet fighting for balance on the landing, and having to move through a greater range for push off. I can feel myself heel planting, despite my best efforts, and then the squish allows my heel to go lower than my toes, so adding stretch to the achilles.
Today I did a recover run on the treadmill in my good old NB 101s, that I've been running in for a couple of years. My knees felt GREAT. So yes, I'm still a little nervous about running really far over cobblestones without much under my feet, but I can see that the squishy shoe is not my answer.
My observations fit really well with the article below.
What Can We Learn from Watching Children Run?
1. Bishop M, Fiolkowski P, Corad B, Brunt D, Horodyski
M. Athletic footwear, leg stiffness and running kinematics.
J Athl Train. 2006;41(4):387-392.
2. Brüggemann G-P, Potthast W, Niehoff A, Braunstein
B, Assheuer J. Adaptation of morphology and function
of the intrinsic foot and shank muscles to mechanical
loading induced through footwear. Subic A, Ujihashi
S (eds). The Impact of Technology on Sport. ASTA
(Australasian Sports Technology Alliance Pty Ltd), Melbourne,
3. Davis IS, Bowser B, Mullineau D. Do Impacts Cause
Running Injuries? A Prospective Investigation. Presented
at the American Society of Biomechanics Meeting, Providence,
RI, August 2010.
4. Ferris DP, Liang K, Farley CT. Runners adjust leg stiffness
for their first step on a new running surface.
J Biomech. 1999;32:787-794.
5. Ferris DP, Louie M, Farley CT. Running in the real
world: adjusting leg stiffness for different surfaces.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological
6. Fortney V. The kinematics and kinetics of the running
pattern of two-, four- and six-year old children. Res Q.
7. Hasegawa H. Footstrike patterns of runners at the 15-
km point of an elite half-marathon. J Strength Cond Res.
8. Lieberman DE, Daoud AI, Werbel WA, Venkadesan
M, D’Andrea S, Davis IS, Mang’Eni RO, Pitsiladis Y. Foot
strike patterns and impact transient forces in habitually
barefoot versus shod runners. Nature. 2010;463:531-
9. McNitt-Gray JL, Yokoi T, Millward C. Landing strategies
used by gymnasts on different landing surfaces. J Appl
10. Milner CE, Davis IS. Are knee mechanics during early
stance related to tibial stress fractures in runners? Clin
11. Milner CE, Davis, IS, Ferber R, Pollard CD, Hamill
J. Biomechanical factors associated with tibial stress
fractures in female runners. Med Sci Sport and Ex.
12. Pohl MB, Hamill J, Davis IS. Biomechanical and
anatomical factors associated with a history of
plantar fasciitis in female runners. Clin J Sport Med.
13. Robbins SE, Hanna AM. Running-related injury prevention
through barefoot adaptations. Med Sports Sci
14. Rose W, Bowser B, McGrath R, Salerno J, Wallace J,
Davis, IS. Effect of footwear on balance. Presented at
the American Society of Biomechanics Meeting, Long
15. Shinowara J, Gribble P. Five toed socks decrease
static postural control among healthy individuals as
measured with time-to-boundary analysis. Presented at
the American Society of Biomechanics Meeting, State
16. Stewart SF. Footgear—its history, uses and abuses.
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1972;88:119-30.
17. Williams DS, McClay IS, Manal KT. Mechanics of
runners with a converted forefoot strike pattern. J Appl
18. Zadpoor AA, Nikooyan AA. The relationship between
lower extremity fractures and ground reaction force: a
systematic review. Clin Biomech. 2010;26:23-28.