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Runner's World Shoe Advisor

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Bobba Booey, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Bobba Booey

    Bobba Booey Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Runner's World has come out with a shoe advisor to help people decide what kind of shoe to choose. It's an online tool that asks some basic questions and gives you a bunch of results based on your answers.

    Check out the shoe advisor here

    I wanted to share this with the professionals here and get their opinion of the usefulness of this tool. I am particularly interested in the foot strike question of the tool. They have five options for foot strike:

    1) forefoot
    2) midfoot
    3) heelstrike
    4) extreme strike
    5) don't know

    I found the classification of extreme strike interesting. It sounds like the same concept that was discussed in the thread about Sensitive/proprioceptive heel strike during running.

    Interested in your comments/opinions.
  2. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    The sooner the public see Runners World for the useless monthly rag that it is the better. It religiously prints erroneous articles and facts, spearheads the perpetuation of anachronistic and poor terminology, and given it is probably the most read literature by recreational runners (and therefore in a prime position to correctly inform and educate on a mass scale) the fact that it behaves in the aforementioned way is nothing less than negligent. Just my opinion of course.

    Can't give you my opinion on the shoe advisor. Didn't bother clicking on the link.
  3. And I quote:

    "Takes more than combat gear to make a man
    Takes more than a license for a gun
    Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can
    A gentleman will walk but never run"

    I think there is a message there for all of us.
  4. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    There should be a smiley for sitting on the fence....Griff could have used it at the end of his post as he seems so undecided on the issue;)

    Simon, what happened to Sir Digby Chicken Ceasar
  5. Time for a change. "Doubt" is my new avatar. Which reminds me, I must get a photo of me in my new coat.
  6. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

  7. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    Looks like you , me and Atholl, will have to have a "coat off".

    I have just had several modifications made to mine in order to improve how streamlined it is(and also a bit of extra length in the arms)
  8. If you look in the dictionary under "cool", it'll say: "see: Spooner in his new Aquascutum coat- 2012". The thing is Robin, the next thing you know Ian G and Craig T will turn up wearing their dads jumpers and start questioning our cool. While a golfing jumper might be acceptable in the evening if you are Ronnie Corbett, its not acceptable if you are not. End of... I'm guessing Ian G will be sporting a golf jumper on his stag do this year merely to appease the brides father.... **** you play golf too, don't you? There is just no helping some people.
  9. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    I do/did. I was one of the brigade, however, that has rubbish equipment and no proper golfing gear.

    It made it all the more sweet when I kicked some guy's ass who spent £1000s on golf gear and had a swing like a lavatory chain.
  10. Cool? You decide...

    Attached Files:

  11. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Ronnie is rocking a little Lyle & Scott number there. I wore one of their jumpers to work today... :eek:
  12. Yeah, no surprises on either count. Do you realise you just said that out-loud? I'm all over this doubt avatar- sums up my current mood perfectly, or does it? Don the glasses Griff, don the glasses...

    Although, suggestions of 80's and curly perms up the back....used to wear those jumpers back in the day with a pair of Farah hop-sacks split over a pair of G Vilas. New shop at the top of my road- had a tremendous fila cardigan in the window the other day- when I went back it'd gone. 80's casuals.... hmmmm
  13. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    Good stag do theme - 2 Ronnies. I'll use that for my brother's next stag do
  14. Athol Thomson

    Athol Thomson Active Member

    Thanks for keeping us up to date with the tailor work there Robin. Longer Arms?

    You don't need a shoe selector just ask yourself......"what would Edward Woodwood wear"

    Purchased a Magee tweed jacket recently which will get an outing at the summer school. It is ridiculous. Looks like I should be shooting Grouse.

    Any Grouse at Deansgate?

    Spooner as soon as you buy an Aquascutum coat it is mandatory to grow a lumbar-jack style beard and pull "blue-steel" type poses at all times.
  15. Yeah? And? So? What? 'reckon I'm on top of all that. Next?

    My new avatar is ace; or is it?
  16. Church's or Loakes, obviously. Next....?

    You boys need to just take stock on what the gentleman should be wearing these days. Robin you're Scotch so we'll give you some grace. A gilly front is not at great look though; Athol you're Australian so Stead and Stimpson will do for you; Griff? You should know better, find a decent cobbler. I used to deal with one just off Baker Street who still holds my lasts. Drop my name and they'll throw you out of their shop... this be true. Tread lightly.
  17. Ian:

    Runner's World is not a magazine for medical professionals, it is a magazine for runners who have little to no medical background. It is easy to criticize this magazine's attempts at providing the average runner with a way to find the right shoe among the great assortment of running shoes available today. It is much more difficult to come up with a system that allows non-medically trained shoe sales people to arrive at the optimum running shoe that all medical professionals agree with.

    Do you have a good system for a running shoe store to use (assume no medical background in the shoe sales people) by which to properly fit their running customers to the proper or optimum shoe for them? How would you train shoe sales people to find the proper shoe for their customers?
  18. mr2pod

    mr2pod Active Member

    Although I understand what Runner's World are attempting to do, and how difficult it is to provide a good system which Kevin clearly states, I do think the high number of options is just too many.

    I answered all questions without using "i don't know" and still got 37 shoe options.
    I would find this a bit daunting and certainly would not read 37 shoe reviews if I was looking for this website to assist me in my shoe choice.

    Another issue is the old date still logged into the database. My shoe suggestions found Brooks Ghost 3 + 4, Brooks Summon 2 +3, Asics 1150 + 1170, Cumulus 12 +13, Saucony Triumph 7+8 etc. The old shoes are not able to be purchased in most stores so it's not much point having them there in my opinion.
  19. Griff

    Griff Moderator


    Rather than criticising their attempts at shoe recommendations/provisions, my comment was more of a criticism of their entire magazine (UK), and the philosophies which underpin what they print (which I know of due to a heated exchange with one of their writers, culminating in me telling them that I would never write another word for their magazine as long as I lived) I don't think they'll lose any sleep :D

    This is a question I have been pondering for many many months now. In many ways we have it easier as clinicians, as we can recommend shoes having seen the runner-patients and thereby make decisions on which midsole stiffness or which brand (i.e. last shape) may best suit said individual. That said, can we confidentally state that we know the best shoe for any individual? I'm not sure we (I) can.

    Do I have a good system for sales staff to use? No. I like the "comfort is king" maxim. Probably doesn't qualify as a 'system', but then does the one historically (and currently) used?

    I still haven't looked at the shoe selection link originally posted, but clearly asking a number of (irrelevant?) questions and then offering a list of 40+ shoes is about as useful to a runner as an ejector seat is to a helicopter.
  20. Ian:

    One thing that further adds to the confusion of runners now is that many running shoe stores may have minimalist shoes on the display along with traditional training shoes, further increasing the confusion of the beginning runner.

    During two of my summers in San Francisco in Podiatry School at CCPM, I worked as a shoe salesman at running shoe stores. Having been a runner for so many years, along with my podiatry student training, I had a distinct advantage over others that worked there along with me but it was still difficult for me to be confident which shoe was best for each runner. In addition, back in the early 1980s when I worked as a running shoe salesman, there were not near so many runnng shoe types and choices as there are today.

    I think before we criticize these informational guides for runners on shoe selection, we should first try to acquire a better idea of how difficult it is for the non-medically trained shoe sales person to know which shoe is best for each runner and try to offer a better alternative method by which they can better help select shoes for their customers. There is so much conflicting information out there now, especially with the barefoot/minimalist shoe advocates confusing things, that it is no wonder that a magazine like Runner's World is trying to offer the average runner some method by which to select a running shoe out of the bewildering number of choices currently available in larger running shoe stores.

    Does anyone else have a better method by which a beginning runner or relatively inexperienced runner should choose the best running shoe for their feet?
  21. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    I haven't an offering for a system that can be used. That being said, I would imagine that the normal way of selecting a shoe for the lay person doing occasional running and is moderately active(I consider myself to be in this category) is something like

    1. What is in my budget/price range?
    2. Do I like how they look?
    3. Are they quite comfortable?

    If a lay shoe salesperson has no medical /biomechanical knowledge then the advice that they give can only be based on hearsay or personal experience. What use is that to their customer?
    Potentially, they might give the same advice to 2 people with very similar feet/activity level and requirements and have two completely different results.
    It seems that it is almost easier to determine what type of shoe is unsuitable for a client/customer. I'm sure that there are many arguements against this but e.g. if someone has a barefoot lunge test of less than 40 degrees then a zero drop shoe might be less suitable for them. I'm not clever enough to be able to state all of the things that are wrong with the suggestion. However, what is clear to me is that, for the average(ly) active person, the function of the shoe is secondary to looks and price

    So maybe my suggestion of selection criteria from above is what runners world should have on their website. In fairness, it is probably just as valid.
  22. I'd apply central limit theorum and give them (the newbie runners) a shoe with average midsole characteristics. Call it throwing a rock in the air and hitting the maximum number of people with one stone. Then apply the comfort is king theory and get 'em to try a few shoes with a similar midsole to get the last shape right. Then let them decide based on their own pocket book. As a shop assistant with no medical training, you're going to get it right more times than you get it wrong by applying this approach. People selling shoes make money by selling shoes. While the ones you get it wrong for may not come back ever (if they do you can sell them something else = bonus chance), the ones you get it right for might well come back and tell their friends = business. You got to go with the majority hit if you're in sales. Hence go middle of the road as central limit theorum tells us you are going to get it right most often by this approach when standing in a field of the complete unknown.. And if you are a shop assistant faced with a new runner, you're pretty much standing in a field of the unknown. Since foot posture and kinematics are generally poor predictors of pathology, the exception being medial tibial stress syndrome where we have a study which suggests pronation is a predictor of this pathology. Next?
  23. I always tell patients to close their eyes.

    However, the reality is this: would I wear a pair of clown shoes to go running in? No. This has always been my problem with Vibrams- they do make you look like a clown. It's kind of like the BMW Z3 when that came out, it was a two seater sports car from BMW, there was an M version of it. On paper then, it had everything going for it. But there was something about it, something you couldn't quite put your finger on... Then Clarkson reviewed it and said it looks like a clowns shoe- yep, nailed it Jeremy. Couldn't look at Z3 again. The Z4 is kind of the 80's revival of the Z3- clown shoe but more angular.

    Running in shoes that look like Vibrams makes you look like a cock. So actually how they look does count.
  24. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    I don't mind admitting that I basically look at the design first. Unfortunately, the New Balance Brogue hasn't been introduced into the market yet so I have to make do with these fancy Dan EVA midsoles and gel pockets *sucks on pipe*
  25. rikmellor

    rikmellor Member

    It sounds as if from the mix of serious chat and banter that there doesn't exist within this forum a standard set of guidelines for prescribing running footwear; is there any way that the collective of qualifications and experience from users here that something can be written and published? Has this ever been done? :confused:

    Can this combine the elements of shoe stiffness, comfort, look and shape that have been mentioned here? It's certainly something I would like to be able to point people to, even if publications such as Runner's World didn't choose adopt this for their readers.

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