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Plantar Fasciosis from Nike Free's?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by LauraCG, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. LauraCG

    LauraCG Member

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    I was just wondering if anyone had encountered people obtaining Plantar Fasciosis which may have been influenced by wearing Nike Free's? I was just wondering if it could be linked at all as several people I have come across have gotten it and notably after having started to wear the frees for a few months despite following the wearing in process.
  2. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  3. footsoldier

    footsoldier Member

    Hi there Laura,
    I was given a pair of Nike Free shoes last year whilst I attended the Nike Research Labs in Portland ,Oregon, USA. I attended a seminar with Maro Lafortune, the chief biomechanist with Nike. Plantar Fasiosis was mentioned as a complication by some other medical practitioners during the seminar. Nike claimed that because the shoe allows the foot to function naturally, some stretches etc may be required to allow soft tissue adaptions. I have been wearing them for a while now and I must admit I found them quite strange and caused discomfort over my met heads, 2nd and 3rd, to be exact.
    I never experienced any heel pain.
    I have copies of the lectures from Nike on their research on the Fee range and would be happy to send them to you if you send me an email. I don't know if Nike would allow me to publish them on the mail base.
  4. Ben

    Ben Member

    I think you may find that its more of an irritation at the origin of the intrinsics - FDB/FHB and quadratus plantar. I think thats the idea with the free's that its designed to increase activity and strength through these muscles, and if they are used a lot or with the wrong type of activity, these intrinsics get quite aggravated. Settle it down with standard heel pain management and then begin calf stretch/strength program.
  5. GarethNZ

    GarethNZ Active Member

    hi footsoldier,

    I have been suggesting patients to use it as a rehab type shoe in the sub-acute stages of a range of foot pathologies. I have some evidence but only a real basic presentation put out by NIKE. Could I get you to email the info through to me at gareth@lifecarefrankston.com

    I am happy to swap any info I might have that may interest you.


  6. Nike has a very long history of producing shoes which they claim are revolutionary but which produce injuries in the people who wear them. The Nike LD-1000 (1976) and the Nike Tailwind (1979) are just a few of the shoes that Nike claimed were revolutionary, but later were quickly pulled from the store shelves by Nike due to the injuries they produced. The Nike Free is just another in the line of such injury-producing shoes, in my opinion.
  7. LauraCG

    LauraCG Member

    Thank you for your thoughts, from the few athletes I have spoken with that have experienced complications, they were newly formed complaints. Whilst they felt their feet to have grown stronger, they believe it to have thrown out their normal gait patterns even though they wear them for a short time
  8. Steve The Footman

    Steve The Footman Active Member

    The problem with the Frees is that they do not have the main advantage of barefeet which is a reduced STj moment arm. However they do have one of the main disadvantages which is reduced surface area for GRF (which = increased pressure for weight bearing area). You are basically on a instable, soft elevated sole. It is not surprising that this would increase the tissue stress on the plantar area of the feet.

    There may still be advantages to wearing the frees in that they make the foot work a bit more. I think the same advantages could be made from barefoot walking and running. Will this help the intrinsic muscle strength and control or cause dysfunctions? A similar argument is made for MBT's.

    I like to wear the Frees about once a week. They are mostly comfortable for wearing similar to a slipper. Besides they look good!
  9. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Having met the designers in Australia a few years back, they were adament that they were something which was to be used as a component of training (another product hijacked by marketing). They are designed to mimic barefoot, but the positive effect would only be seen if the athlete would be running on irregular, natural surfaces. You could do the same barefoot, but would not have protection from environmental trauma (glass, nails, stones etc).
    If a person was to run all the time with them on regular flat surfaces such as concrete, and they have unstable foot posture, then they could conceivably cause injury.
    It is akin to telling a person with poor posture to strengthen their back by lying in a bean bag...
  10. Steve The Footman

    Steve The Footman Active Member

    I do know one person who runs all their training in them successfully. I think that she is an exception just as the people who do all of their training barefoot are.

    The message of it being a component of training does not always get through to retail.
  11. BenLV

    BenLV Welcome New Poster

    Nike Free are "fake shoes" talking barefoot whilst being nothing like barefoot. The Pegasus is arguably more barefoot than a Nike Free. Free's are super wobbly, how can this be anything like barefoot? Many people wearing Nike Free's are over pronating down the street. The point of barefoot is stability and elastic recoil, not just flexibility. Yes, flexibility is important but flexibility is irrelevant without stability and elastic recoil. Wobbly cushioning kills stability. Arch support kills elastic recoil. I fear Podiatrists are drowning in information researching a faulty paradigm whilst starved of wisdom based on human experience and facts. 80% (99%?) of foot problems are simple to fix...by addressing inappropriate loading and inappropriate footwear. Indeed I've got 99 problems but my foot ain't 1... What is a healthy foot from a podiatrist's point of view? Anatomy Function and Biomechanics
  12. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    and how is that all working out now? Sales of minimalist running shoes have fallen to 0.3% of the market. It didn't work and runners have lost interest in it.
  13. BenLV

    BenLV Welcome New Poster

    Indeed it is a fact barefoot shoes have not grown as rapidly as many expected but they do work, when the runner transitions skilfully, and runners have most definitely not lost interest. Sales have grown, not as fast as Nike, therefore market share fallen. More and more people are interested in healthy food but McDonalds probably grows faster... Yes as a percentage minimalist is microscopic but this is down to marketing, education and experience rather than whether one is better than the other intuitively, biomechanically or as proven scientifically.
    Do you include Nike Free in Minimalist running shoes? They are fake barefoot but people think they are buying barefoot so they should be included as people bought into the philosophy. What % is Nike Free of Nike's sales? And of total sales. Do you have latest sales info here somewhere?
    Thank you Craig, I am here to learn and discuss not be a barefoot idiot. PS. Humans need shoes. I am a proponent of health strong elastic flexible feet - there is nothing controversial about healthy feet. It makes sense wearing thin flat wide shoes, loading appropriately and moving skilfully all help to achieve healthy strong elastic flexible feet. I have worked with thousands of feet, for sure some are beyond repair but it is less than 1% in the thousands I have seen...NB by barefoot shoes I mean zero cushioning, wide, flat - simple. Minimalist shoes are a different philosophy, I am not being an evangelist, I am defining terms. Thank you again.
  14. Ben:

    Please tell me how Nike Free shoes are "fake shoes"? What is your definition of a shoe?

    And for that matter, you seem very concerned about how "barefoot" one shoe is versus another shoe. Do you realize that as soon as you put on a shoe you are not barefoot? In that regard, in your opinion, what makes one shoe more "barefoot" than another shoe?

    Please provide a scientific research reference for your statement "the point of barefoot is stability and elastic recoil, and not just flexibility". And by the way, anything that Chris McDougall wrote can't be considered as a scientific reference since he is not a scientist, just a sports writer.

    Also, please provide scientific research references for your statements:
    1. "Yes, flexibility is important but flexibility is irrelevant without stability and elastic recoil.
    2. "Wobbly cushioning kills stability."
    3. "Arch support kills elastic recoil."

    And finally, what do you base your statement "I fear Podiatrists are drowning in information researching a faulty paradigm whilst starved of wisdom based on human experience and facts." I have no clue about what you are talking about.

    Please explain yourself, and remember, the barefoot and minimalist running fad died a few years ago....
  15. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Nope. Sales of minimalist running shoes grew to 12% of the run speciality market, peaking at that around mid-2013. They started falling then and are now at 0.3% (excluded from the figures are the leisure use of the Free's). The max-cushioned Hoka's outsold the entire minimalist category in 2014 and has kept growing since.
    Runners have lost interest. It was a fad that failed them. Their experiences with it and the subsequent scientific evidence did not live up to the hype, propaganda, rhetoric and word salads about it.
    As for your contention that they "work", that is contradicted by the actual published scientific evidence. Injury rates between barefoot/minimalist vs traditional shod are the same. 6 of one half dozen of the other. I prefer to stick to the evidence.
    This 'debate' ended a few yrs ago.
  16. efuller

    efuller MVP

    You do realize you just vaguely insulted an entire profession. The "drowning in information" comment is a style of speaking often used by the anti science crowd when they attack experts. There are faulty paradigms in podiatry, but I'm not aware of any related to shoes. You should be more specific in your attacks. I would agree that a lot of problems can be fixed with the appropriate footwear.

    A healthy foot is one that does not hurt when it has normal sensation. My feet hurt a lot more in minimalist shoes than they do in my max cushioning shoes. I have no problem with people using minimalist shoes. They just have to learn to run/walk in a way that will put less stress on their feet because they have less protection. This is the transition that you speak of. There is no one style of shoe that is best for everyone. Feet are different.

  17. BenLV

    BenLV Welcome New Poster

    Apologies Eric, I do not wish to insult the profession, this is not helpful or respectful.

    It is my belief Orthotics should be a very very rare intervention and used when improving movement skill ie posture and weight distribution, strength, flexibility, elasticity and footwear have failed or there are severe contraindications to even consider training.

    I can understand the concept of Orthotics for short term pain relief however, rest and movement also work. Training and appropriate footwear could the first steps in helping most foot problems. There are simple solutions. Cushioning and support decondition and deform feet. Many (99%) foot problems could be avoided in the first place. An ounce of prevention etc..

    Certain interventions such as Morton's pads for Morton's foot short 1st met head and to relieve mid dorsal foot pain make sense. But not arch support for PF. Or Morton's Neuroma pads.

    As regards the long term use of Orthotics, we have heard the analogies a million times. When we have a bad back is it missing painkillers and a brace? Or is the pain a sign we need to improve our ability to handle gravity - ie our movement skill = posture, strength and flexibility?

    There must be many areas we agree on to improve feet and I'd love to explore them. A healthy foot is relatively wide, strong, flexible and elastic. It may have a higher arch or a lower arch, the arch will be functional. Ankles will be aligned. The big toe will be strong and take appropriate load.

    If there is a Morton's foot structure, a pad is required to load the 1st Met head appropriately. If the ankle is over pronated, a strengthening and movement skill improvement program will help in most cases.

    Movement skill is at the top of the hierarchy, form follows function, not the other way round.
  18. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Cite your source please.
  19. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Can you please explain how "improving movement skill ie posture and weight distribution, strength, flexibility" etc can actually work when the problem in the foot is an osseous forefoot varus?
    Should we rarely use foot orthotics in stage 2 posterior tibial tendon dysfunction? (and risk litigation if you did not)
    Total BS. Have you read all the evidence on foot orthotics and muscle strength? I assume you haven't. Suggest you do.
    And as Ian asked above, citation please
    A short first met is normal (there is a reason most people have one!). Morton was wrong. If you really did understand foot function, then you would know that propping up the first met head with a pad is detrimental to foot function. (have you heard of the windlass mechanism?)
    I do not think anyone will disagre, but you are showing a very poor understanding of foot biomechanics and pathomechanics.
    So how come pretty much every study has shown that the muscle strength in the "overpronated" foot and lower arch is stronger. There is now quite a body of literature on that. have you read it?
    Please explain how a "movement skill improvement program " will correct the overpronation associated with, for eg a forefoot varus, or a, for eg medially located STJ axis etc etc
    You do realise that there are probably a 100 different causes of "overpronation". What you are advocating will be an epic fail and dangerous advice for a lot of them - it is simply impossible for movement retraining to work in those foot types.
    For some of them what you are advocating can work in the longer term, and a lot of us do use that approach in those it probably could work in.
    That is just a meaningless word salad, a cliché.
    The scientific evidence is clear: foot orthotics work and they do not weaken muscles.
    There is NO evidence supporting what you are advocating.

    If you want to advocate alternative approaches, then you need to stop making things up; contradicting the actual scientific evidence; or basing it on a poor understanding of the topic (and BTW, I "wrote the book" on alternative theories and approaches - been there done that with so many people so many times over the years)

    I will be the first to change my mind when the evidence tells me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2017
  20. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    DunningKrugar comes to mind

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