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The fat lady sings...

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Simon Spooner, Nov 7, 2011.

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    Well, I never really saw it as a craze that took hold in the UK, but I did previously call that it would be officially over when I saw them selling barefoot (oxymoron) shoes in T.K. Maxx. I clocked these on Saturday........

    The dream is over... to be honest I'd have purchased a pair at that price, but they didn't have my size.

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  2. drsha

    drsha Banned

    I said the same thing to myself when I saw Subtalar Joint Neutral Casted/Modulated devices at The Walmart and The OTC Shelf at a New Balance Store

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  3. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, did you check what model? Vivo has about 17 different models in the mens line, 3 or 4 are targeted for running, the rest are casual shoes.

    I have also seen various models of Vivo barefoot shoes being discounted, although I wouldn't go as far as saying the "barefoot shoe" market is dead. Vivo might be simply coming out with new models to replace the old ones. On the other hand, the company may be dying but that might be due to New Balance or Merrell eating their lunch in this market.

    My prediction is that the "minimal" shoe market will follow a similar pattern to what the "trail" shoe has done. In the late 1980's, trail running shoes started to hit the market. With that, all of the major running shoe companies came out with multiple models of trail shoes. In addition, the hiking boot companies such as The North Face, Solomon, Merrell, Montrail also came out with their line of trail running shoes. In addition to that, even smaller companies that specialized specifically in trail running shoes came out with their line of shoes. Over time, more than 20 years later, the genre of Trail running shoes has stabilized, the big companies have their select models, the hiking boot companies have their models and the specialized companies have their models. Each have established their piece of the pie and life goes on.

    With minimal shoes, which will ultimately be categorized as something like lightweight performance shoes are already following a very similar trend to the trail shoe segment. The big companies such as New Balance, Saucony, Nike, Brooks have their models, the hiking boot companies such as Merrell have their models and the small companies such as vivo or inov-8 has it's models.

    With time, the genre will settle and establish itself, everyone will get it's piece of the pie and we will move on. In the meantime, small companies such as Vivo or Newton may not survive the huge resources of companies such as Nike or New Balance. In addition, I see some of these small companies like Vivo and Newton making a huge mistake by over-pricing their shoes. It would not surprise me to see a company like Vivo get swallowed up but that is not an indication of the health of the industry. It might just be a symptom of poor business management.

    What is also interesting is that while Trail shoes have established itself as a major classification and with Lightweight Performance increasing it share, I see the old "motion control" classification fading into the sunset and being absorbed by the "stability" classification.

    Only time will tell whether the fat lady is truly singing or if she is just warming up for the big opera to come.

  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Not according to the sales figures. Despite all the barefoot/minimalist hype in the last 5 or so yrs, the sales in the motion control and stability categories are NOT dropping. In facts, sales in those categories are actually up, but the % share they have has stayed the same in recent times. The sales in the minimalist categories are up by over 200% in the last 12 months or so, but this has not affected sales in the other categories.
  5. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Craig, sorry I wasn't clear enough. I was referring to the labeling or categorization of "Motion Control" shoes, not the sales quantities. What I meant to say is that shoes labeled as motion control are moving to being labeled as stability. There aren't many shoe companies still calling shoes motion control.

    If the % share of motion control and stability shoes have remained constant and minimalist has gone up 200%, how is the 100% distributed between categories today and what did it look like a year ago? Without seeing the total and it's change over time, it is hard to grasp what is going on.

  6. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine uses 3 categories to classify shoes: Maximum Stability, Stability and Neutral. http://www.aapsm.org/runshoe.html#sites
    They wrote:

    "Manufacturers do not use uniform language when describing their footwear and some models may fall in between categories. The distinctions between categories are not always easily discerned but we have made every effort to place all shoes into the appropriate category."

    "Until recently, most manufacturers classified running shoes according to three main categories; Motion Control, Stability and Cushioned or Neutral. Now manufacturers are using their own terms such as “structured cushioning” or “guidance”. The major manufacturers use two to four categories to classify their shoes."

    Given the confusion surrounding categorization, it makes me question whether you can really measure the actual sales of shoes by category without a lot of error.

    Based on what I've been reading and what I've seen on shoe manufacturers web sites, the label motion control for the most part has been replaced by a label typically including the term stability.

  7. Orthican

    Orthican Active Member

    I did have one positive thought regarding seeing all the major big box stores taking on any fad that comes along regarding these OTS foot supports and "barefoot" shoes and knee sleeves etc.....

    I have noticed so many more people that are interested in "investigating" their respective pain or problem. Yes as I wrote that I had all the negatives rolling through my mind. But...The internet has provided a wealth of information on both sides of the good and bad. (this site is obviously an example on the very upper end of the good scale information wise...)

    The point I am making though, is that with this there will be those that try this stuff on a fluke or whim luck into something that works for them because now they can very simply just "afford" to try it. I have seen many that "fall through the cracks" in the system and cannot afford to have too much to eat let alone try custom foot orthoses. So for them having you all set the bar sets the standard by which all else follow. The trickle down effect comes to the consumer at the retail level with better OTS designs as a result due to outside influences like groups of professionals like you. Then we don't end up seeing everything out there at the wal mart or wherever resemble a foot leveller. That is a compliment in a sense.

    Those that came before and those that come after simply set examples. Dr. Kirby is An example for instance of direct positive influence through allowing anyone an opportunity to learn more. By the example for instance that you all set with this site it sets a bar that all those reading will need to follow in order to contribute. That is a good thing. It keeps people thinking. Rather than just following.

    As I have been reading (thankyou Kevin) and everyone else posting here over the time since I started this reading frenzy this thread sparked that thought and I thought I'd share it.
  8. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Craig, can you provide your source? I would like to know how they are defining motion control and stability, what shoes they are including in those categories, what catagories they are including in the comparison. More importantly, what categories are they excluding. What geographic region are the sales figures from and most important, what year and time frame are the sales figures from?

    You referenced this data months ago, given how long it takes to compile sales data, I wouldn't be surprised if it is up to 2 years old at this point. Since the majority of the minimalist shoes hadn't hit the market until 2011 with some at the end of 2010, I question what is really included and if the study is even relevant at this point.

  9. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Craig, never mind, my assumption about the possible source gave a lot more credit than deserved. I just looked back and found the following post from July. Your source and interpretation of the data (or lack of it) is wrong on so many levels, I'm not going to bother explaining why because you should know why.

    How many times have you made the following rant?

    "what I object to is the misuse, misrepresentation, misquoting and misinterpretation of the science by the Evangelists from the Church of Barefoot Running."

    I honestly fail to see the difference in this example and what you are so vehemently objecting to.

    When I started reading this forum, I was openly trying to learn and I have learned but it hasn't been an easy road. I have always been astounded by the hypocrisy on this forum. I am not a barefoot evangelist or a podiatrist as you are more than aware. It just bothers me when someone joins this forum, naively makes some comments and gets pounded by the fraternity of podiatrists. Yet time and again, I find a good share of the people doing the pounding to be no better than and just as guilty of misrepresentation/misinterpretation/misuse of data as the people they chastise.

    Typically when I call people out for their BS on this forum, I in turn will receive wrath for pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. We'll see if it holds true this time. If anyone wants to make personal and vile attacks on me, go ahead, it simply further supports my point.

    Have a great day.

  10. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    So, we await you posting some information that contradicts what I claimed.....is what I said actually wrong? Are you calling those people I got the information from liars?

    Please explain how I actually have "what I object to is the misuse, misrepresentation, misquoting and misinterpretation of the science" in the above post?

    I was totally honest with where I got the information from, what is actually wrong with that? People take the info or not based on that source (and it is consistent with industry data in the recent press release that has been released by SoS; and has also been confirmed by several running shoe retailers I have spoken to.)

    Also see:
    Running shoe sales are up despite trend to minimalist running

    Nothing I have said or claimed is inconsistent with the available information. Those who get ridiculed around here are those who make claims that are contradicted by the available data. Where have I done that?
  11. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Craig, if you really don't understand why you can't draw conclusions or make inferences from the data you have, then oh well.

    No one questioned your honesty about where you got the information from. It just surprises me with how you used it.
  12. They were these: http://www.vivobarefoot.com/uk/mens/neo.html/

    Here's a picture of something else to clutch at.

    The one runner I knew who was wearing these has switched back to more traditional running shoes after injury. Personally, I feel this type of shoe might be helpful as a slipper to help prevent falls among the elderly; this is not a joke. Yet not at their current price point. None of my elderly patients would pay £30 for a pair of slippers let alone £80- £90. Bring the price down to match your average pair of slippers and they could be very helpful. I'll let you know if i spot them in the clearance section at T.K. Maxx.

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  13. rachel.liminton

    rachel.liminton Active Member

    I bought 2 pairs off the net, with a view to selling them at my clinic in Fowey....however only one pair showed up.....the other never to be seen nor traced....my daughter with strange toes could not wear them, although a few die hard sailors up the club found them handy on deck....personally i found them bloody uncomfortable and gave no support....:drinks
  14. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    I don't own any Vivo Barefoot shoes because I don't understand their price. I do wear similar minimal shoes from several different manufacturers for running and for wear throughout the day. I find them to be very comfortable shoes, they feel like slippers! I haven't fallen down yet so maybe they are helpful in that area. I haven't been injured so I haven't found a need to change to traditional running shoes. If the one runner you know get's injured in traditional running shoes, what will he change to next?

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