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It's Time To Replace Your Running Shoes. Here's Why!


Like the evasive glass slipper in Disney’s Cinderella, many of you are all walking this planet in definitely not the best shoes. Most of the time any pains related to repetitive running, walking, stairs can be traced back to shoes that don’t fit and are poorly constructed.


The shoes you wear aren’t all created equal and if only you knew that all shoes may be made quite differently. Nothing is necessarily wrong with the designs at Nike, Reebok, Asics, Brooks, Adidas, Fila, Hoka, etc. It’s when the transfer of information to the machine and how the shoe is assembled is not carefully done. The outer look may be fine but the cushions for example are too soft or too firm in one shoe. The right shoe may be packaged in one line using different concentrations of plastics and cushions and the left shoe on a different line.


Inspecting them carefully is the way to go and this is what we do at Rehab and Revive. I do have to give credit to my mentors at the Institute of Physical Art for teaching me much of this. So a shout out to them!



How to inspect the shoe or “glass slipper” that fits! As seen in my video above:


1. Check the ability for forward rocking on the forefoot by tapping where the first and second toe ideally would be.


What you want: straight rocking from back to the front of each shoe

What to avoid: if it starts rocking side to side or starting to drift to one corner it means your legs will have to work harder to keep it from straying.


2. Check the ability by pushing the middle of the backing of the shoe and tapping it lightly to start a rocking motion. This would mimic heel-strike for those who like to run with that method.


What you want: straight rocking from back to the front of each shoe

What to avoid: if it starts rocking side to side or starting to drift to one corner it means your legs will have to work harder to keep it from straying as with the above test.


3. Fold the forefoot to look at the metatarsal break. You are looking to see if it is a smooth transition to your toes.


What you want: seamless folding and the quality and stiffness of the cushioning. This will tell you if the shoe is ready to run in or if you'll need a break-in period.

What to avoid: if the material is uneven when folding over to the forefoot of the shoe and clearly is just stiffer where you can’t get through to the first toe. Huge red flag here.


4. Use both hands to grab the ends of the shoes and then twist. You are trying to see how symmetrical it is to pronate and supinate.


What you want: seamless twisting and the quality and stiffness of the cushioning to be uniform. See if it allows you to pivot the feet during landing and push off.

What to avoid: if the material is uneven when twisting over to the forefoot of the shoe and clearly is just stiffer where you can’t get over to the first or pinky toe.


This is also a good way to check if it is time to let those shoes go into the donation bin or dumpster. Shoes might improve comfort and feel good on your feet, but it doesn’t solve everything!


The only thing is for you all to work on your walking and running form. Then you have the right formula to live life to your fullest (at least when it comes to running, walking, and stairs). We'll link some good videos for this below!






Happy shoe inspecting and remember to heal smarter, not harder!



Dr. Justin C Lin


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