>Gears and Wears>Short Achilles Tendon and Heel to Toe Drop
When my son was born, we noticed that he walks somewhat on his toes like I do. This prompted a trip to a physical therapist who concluded that we both have short achilles tendons. Taking a look at the most recent shoes I have purchased, they generally have a 12mm drop, and I tend to add green Superfeet on top of that when planters fasciitis shows up. Reading about minimalist and barefoot trends, I'm wondering if my footwear choices exacerbate the short tendon and its effects, and if transitioning to a more minimal shoe (along with more barefoot walking around the house and stretches which we already do) would encourage building up natural strength.
Anyone have experience with this?
Half Fanatic #846
More than one doctor had commented a few years ago that I had "very tight" Achilles tendons. I didn't pay much attention until I developed shin splints and eventually PF afterward. So, I wound up treating the PF consistently by going barefoot some, wearing 0-4mm drop shoes both for running and for work, and achilles stretches with positive results - no more similar running injuries, and my achilles are now much closer to normal than they were back then. Whether this is related to preventing PF, I can't say for sure. But I think it is safe to say that barefoot, minimalist footwear, stretching and probably some degree of luck contributed to my success. Plus, I was able to build stronger ankle/foot musculature (evidenced by a sports ortho commenting when I was 63: "You have the feet of a 40-year old!"). That's what worked for me, but YMMV.
"I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, it's usually my ankle" - unk. "Frankly autocorrect, I'm getting a bit tired of your shirt". I ran half my last race on my left foot!
Glad to hear that! It at least gives me confidence in trying it, and that I may be on the right track.
Be cautious! There is a reason the barefoot, extreme minimalist approach has waned. I have no problem with you giving this a try but be very slow. Your body has adapted to running shoes with a heel. My gut is that you should highly focus on specific strengthening and flexibility work as a primary focus. Good luck!
H-WAVE - Helping Athletes Heal and Recover Faster
I am aware of the fad having passed, and wonder if I should gradually transition, but I figured the inserts themselves have a heel drop, so adding 12mm in the shoe is overkill. Luckily, I'm not really an "avid runner". I just like the outdoors and jog, hike, or urban walk as the mood strikes me or my family. So I figure any changes will have a smaller impact on me than someone who is running 5 miles every day. I will definitely focus on stretches and exercises, and may even look into seeing a PT if it doesn't go away soon.
Got my New Balance Minimus shoes yesterday (4mm drop) and they feel pretty good after walking around all evening. Looks like there is enough room for the insoles, but since the shoe doesn't have a removable one, how to I trim the Superfeet? Trim it based on a different shoe and see how it fits?
As someone who runs in VFFs (actual barefooters can scoff - I don't mind ) this is so true. Took me 3 years to get more then 9 months of training in a year. 2016 was year 7 with 2500+ miles and I don't think I would be running at all in conventional shoes. 20 years ago my orthopedist told me if I continued to run I would need a new knee by now (actually he said 10 years, 20 if I didn't run). YMMV.