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.
One of my favorite trail running shoes for the high volume foot as the following field review video shows.
Although the Gel Trabuco is only available in a medium width, it runs wider and deeper than many other brands of trail shoes. In addition to more volume, Gel Trabuco 14 also provides a lot of support, which is important for running on irregular trail terrain.
A trail running shoe I like a lot. Features include a wide forefoot, firm heel counter, and torsional stability. Many running shoes that are wider in the forefoot are correspondingly wide in the midfoot and heel, but the Solomon XR Mission is not.
This XR Mission also has a firm, thick midsole, which helps with shock absorption, as the following field review video shows.
Brooks has done it again, with the introduction of the Adrenaline GTX, all terrain, trail shoe.
Adrenaline GTX is more rugged than Adrenaline ASR due to the Gore-Tex, waterproof, upper membrane. This shoe is also extremely stable, which is especially helpful during muddy or wet running conditions.
Additional features are highlighted in the following video.
Asics Gel-3030 fills a much needed void left by Asics GT-2160. Torsionally stable, with a firm heel counter and an inflexible forefoot, Asics Gel-3030 is an ideal shoe for those runners wanting serious support or pronation control. The only downside — it’s only available in medium width. Apart from that, it’s one of my favorite Asics shoes this season.
Soccer cleats do not come in widths, which can make it difficult to obtain a good fit. Since many medium width cleats will run either wide or narrow, you can use a side-by-side comparison to identify volume differences between different pairs of shoes.
The two pairs of cleats below illustrate a narrow lasted cleat on the left, Adidas Predator Absolion TRX , and a wide lasted cleat, Nike Mecurial Victory II, on the right. The differences in width are highlighted.
Comparing the uppers, notice how the throatline (opening) of the Nike is so much wider than the Adidas. Also notice the difference in toebox shape and width. The Adidas is more tapered around the toes and the Nike is more rounded, accommodating a wider forefoot.
In evaluating the lower, you can see how much wider the forefoot and waist are in the Nike than the Adidas as well. If you have been having difficulty finding the perfect fit, using this method should help. These principles also apply to other shoes (tennis, basketball, football, etc.) that only come in medium widths.
Nike® Zoom Structure Triax has been a favorite of mine for several years, and version 15 is my favorite yet. Cushioned, yet stable, this shoe works for the runner who is looking for pronation control in a lightweight shoe.
Just because a shoe is laced a certain way when you buy it, that doesn’t mean you have to continue lacing that way. This Adidas F50 Adizero TRZ FG soccer cleat was laced using an over-under method which limits the degree of forefoot snugness you can attain, potentially causing excessive forefoot movement, calluses or blisters.
A better option is criss-cross lacing which not only makes the shoe easier to lace but also improves fit. The following images show the differences between the two lacing methods.
For even more lacing modifications, see my related posts:
DG came in today with subungual hematoma, or blood blisters, underneath the toenails from playing soccer in shoes that were too short.
Soccer cleats are designed to be worn snugly, but if they are too short, pressure will build up against the nail, causing a subungual hematoma to form. In this case DG had been wearing size 10 1/2, but measured size 12 1/2 heel to ball and 11 1/2 heel to toe. Additionally, his current soccer cleats were too shallow in the toe box, as well as too short as this image shows.
If you routinely lose toenails from playing sports, you will probably need to go into a bigger size shoe. The best place to have your foot professionally measured is at a specialty running shoe store and then use that information to size your cleats accordingly.
If you experience a subungual hematoma, you will want to visit a podiatrist and have your nails trimmed and thinned down.
Here’s an additional post on runners thickened toenails http://drshoe.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/runners-toenails/
Asics GT-2160 is the perfect shoe for a narrow, shallow foot http://drshoe.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/narrow-vs-wide-feet/. It also works for the medium foot, easily accepts an orthotic and provides lots of support. Here’s my video review on this great shoe.
Many thanks to Admiral DeJenerate of Undead Bettys Roller Derby for sharing the information on where she got her groovy hand dyed, custom skate laces.
Admiral DeJenerate has scoured the internet to make sure her own unique brand of mayhem is on proud display for all to see, starting with these hip laces. She has graciously allowed me to provide the purveyors link on Etsy.com and they are a steal at less than $10. If you decide to have a pair made – tell them Admiral DeJenerate made it all possible.
I am fortunate to have the best patients any physician could ever want. Everyday athletes doing extraordinary things. Critical to their accomplishments is the right diagnosis, the right treatment and the right shoes which Financial District Foot & Ankle Center prides itself on. These are but a few of the amazing athletes I have been privileged to treat during this past year. To them and to all of my other patients “Thank You”.
Saucony ProGrid Guide 4 is one of my favorite shoes. The upper has a generous amount of mesh which improves airflow, lightness and comfort. Mesh is also helpful if you have bunions or hammertoes.
The rearfoot midsole is thick providing maximum cushioning at heel strike and the firm medial EVA (grey) helps resist pronation and improves stability.
The width is not too narrow and not too wide. This image compares Asics 2160 to Saucony ProGrid Guide 4. Notice how the Guide 4 outsole is slightly wider in the forefoot than the 2160? This is a great feature as most feet are slightly wider in the forefoot than rearfoot.
All in all, Saucony ProGrid Guide 4 is a great shoe and I also like the new bright colors.
When Saucony changed the Grid Stabil design to ProGrid Stabil CS, I was underwhelmed as the ProGrid Stabil CS whas not nearly as stable or supportive as the the Grid Stabil http://drshoe.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/shoe-review-saucony-grid-stabil-vs-progrid-stabil/. Fortunately, the ProGrid Stabil CS 2 has reinstated the features I was so fond of with the earlier Grid Stabil. These include:
A less deep toebox for better fit, while still retaining ample upper width for toes or orthotics if necessary.
The ProGrid Stabil 2 midsole is thicker and firmer than the prior version which makes for a much more structured, stable shoe.
The most important change with ProGrid Stabil CS 2 is a firmer, more durable outsole. The prior version’s outsole was thinner and softer, causing the shoe to wear out more quickly than it should. It was also not not very effective at pronation control whereas the CS 2 is.
If you’re a runner with a wide foot looking for lightweight support, then Grid Stabil CS might just be for you.
I’ve been a fan of Nike Air Structure Triax for quite sometime, however there are some changes with version 13 that you should be aware of if you’re upgrading from version 12.
First and foremost the Triax 13 is almost a full size shorter, heel-to-ball, than the Triax 12 http://drshoe.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/size-matters-heel-to-ball-vs-heel-to-toe/.This can cause conditions like plantar fasciitis (arch pain) or metatarsalgia (ball of the foot pain) so make sure to check the size before you buy.
Lack of firm EVA caps (blue highlighted areas) on the Triax 13 waffle sole also means less durability than the Triax 12. This means you may not get as much mileage as you would in the 12. If you owm the Triax 13 you will want to check outsole wear sooner than with the Triax 12.
Pluses about Nike’s Air Structure Triax 13 include a firm heel counter and firm EVA in the medial midsole. These features continue to make the Triax one of Nike’s most stable, supportive shoes.
Basketball shoes can be a challenge because they typically don’t come in widths other than medium and tend to run wide, making it all but impossible to fit a narrow foot. Nike Zoom Kobe VI is an unexpected exception. In addition to a narrower last than most basketball shoes, it’s also extremely stable.
Another plus is the insole waist of the Kobe VI doesn’t hourglass providing a more supportive foundation for a pronated foot.
With an inflexible forefoot sole, torsional stability and a firm heel counter, this court shoe rivals some of the most stable running shoes available, which truly is an exception to the rule.
My only minor reservation with this shoe is that it’s a mid-top style and not a “true” high-top which may exacerbate ankle instability. This is easily remedied however, by wearing an ankle brace during play. If you remove the sock liner, there will be more than enough room to accommodate any additional tightness an ankle brace or custom orthotic might cause.