Most brands of trail running shoes are only offered in medium widths, and this makes fitting a narrow foot extremely difficult. Asics GT-2000 and Brooks Adrenaline ASR are my current favorites in this category, offering medium width trail running shoes which run narrow.
Both brands are excellent in terms of design and support. However Asics GT-2000 takes a slight lead in the narrow-shallow department, whereas Brooks takes a slight lead in the support department.
An added bonus — both brands offer Gore-Tex, waterproof versions of the above models.
If you’re a basketball player, then you know how difficult it is to find supportive, well-designed basketball shoes. The Nike Kobe VII has been a favorite of mine — and now I have Ektio to add to the list.
Ektio is a unique new brand of basketball shoe that offers unparalleled ankle support. Ektio was kind enough to send me a pair to evaluate — and FDFAC staff member (and former WNBA and professional basketball player) Brooke Smith gave the shoes a rigorous court workout. The Result: Ektio passed with flying colors.
This shoe is designed to support the ankle and prevent inversion sprains, which it accomplishes by utilizing the following features.
- High Top Design — Supports and stabilizes excessive ankle motion
- Two Strap System — Secures and cinches to the ankle to provide leverage against lateral inversion motion
- Lateral Forefoot Flare and Graphite Outsole — Makes the shoe torsionally stable and less prone to twist
Overall, this is a terrific shoe — especially if you have a history of ankle sprains, or if you routinely wear an ankle brace for added support. You can also wear orthotics with this shoe, making this shoe my new favorite. Best of all, this shoe is reasonably priced at $129.95.
If you play basketball and haven’t tried Ektio, you will want to check them out!
JC came in with a pair of DZR shoes today to be worn with his new custom orthotics, and I’ve got to say I’m impressed. Designed as an Urban Cycling Shoe, DZR is hip enough to wear even if you don’t cycle.
DZR has the style of a skater shoe, without added forefoot flexibility — which is great for hallux limitus, sesamoiditis and metatarsalgia. For cycling, the outsole can be modified to accept Shimano SPD cleats for a clipless pedal ride, as the following video shows. Ingenious.
Finding a tennis/court shoe to accommodate a wide foot with a bunion, is no easy task. Fortunately, Nike Zoom Vapor 9, is just that shoe. Although sized for the male foot, it will work for women, size 7 and beyond. If you are a woman with a size 7 foot, order size 6 men’s which is the equivalent size. Now, on to the features that make this such an outstanding shoe.
- Mesh near the bump — Most tennis-specific shoes have an entirely leather upper with reinforced trim and/or stitching over the bunion area. Zoom Vapor 9 has mesh, which allows for a wide forefoot and expansion over the bunion area.
- Not only does this feature help to decrease pressure along the bunion, it also helps for those players having hammertoes. Beyond that, mesh makes this shoe lightweight and more responsive for being on your toes.
- Wide waist — Tennis players with a wide forefoot, arch collapse and excessive pronation need support, especially mid-arch. Zoom Vapor 9 doesn’t hourglass in at the waist — and that provides stability and maximum support.
- Torsional stability — Tennis is a sport with lots of side-to-side motion, primarily on the forefoot. Because of this, the shoe needs to be stable lengthwise, which Zoom Vapor 9 is.
All in all, this is a terrific shoe. If you have a wide foot — with or without a bunion and/or hammertoes — then you will want to check this model out.
I recently helped a modern dancer who was experiencing bunion pain whenever she danced barefoot — which was all the time. Although her bunions were significantly enlarged, she was pain free as long as she wore shoes.
The solution was to find her an appropriate shoe to dance in — finding dance shoes which can accommodate a wide foot with a bunion can be challenging, but Capezio’s Canvas Dance Sneaker does just that.
The upper is canvas, which — in addition to being lightweight and breathable — expands in the area of the bunion allowing for better fit. Lacing to the forefoot also allows for adjustments, an important feature for the wide forefoot.
This shoe also provides structure, which helps with alignment and promotes better function and less pain at the bunion site. Lastly, the thick, cushioned, forefoot and heel provide excellent shock absorption for not only the feet but the lower extremities in general.
I previously posted a review on Altra Instinct and was contacted by AltraZeroDrop as follows:
“Interesting review. A couple of things as I consider what is being said here. First, The Instinct is a neutral shoe and is sold as such. The Brooks Adrenaline is a motion control shoe. To compare the two with a pronator is not a fair comparison. To look at an Altra shoe that offers some pronation support please check out The Provision. This runner obviously needs some medial support and thus The Instinct may not be the best option right off the bat. As they strengthen their feet over time maybe.”
My reviews are based on the shoes that runners wear in, and the Instinct is the only shoe I’ve seen from Altra. In this runner’s case, he purchased the Instinct based on it’s “wider,” more supportive appearance, only to develop forefoot pain.
Altra’s website promotes Altra zero-drop footwear as “reducing forefoot pain, excessive pronation, IT Band pain, runners knee and shin-splints.” These claims are made independent of Altra model or style, but are instead specific to the zero-drop platform. So, based on these general design claims, this particular shoe should have worked for this particular runner.
My primary goal for doing shoe reviews is to reduce injury by educating runners about their foot type and alignment, and teaching them how to apply this to their shoe purchases. I agree that runners need to match their foot type (pronated, wide, etc.) to their shoes and I’m pleased that Altra offers a stability model.
I have asked Altra to send me a pair for review. I’ll keep you posted.
I have had several runners in my office asking me to evaluate to evaluate their Altra™ running shoes. As much as I want to recommend this shoe, I just can’t. There are too many runners for whom the fit and structure of this shoe is incompatible, as the following video shows.