Monthly Archives: September 2012

Shoe Review – Altra Instinct™

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.

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Shoe Review – Adidas Supernova Sequence 4

Adidas Supernova Sequence 4 is essentially the same as version 3 — with features like a firm heel counter, inflexible forefoot and non-hourglass midsole/outsole that remain the same.

Good for the rectangle shaped foot, that doesn’t pronate excessively and is not too deep as the following field review video shows.

Shoe Review – Asics Gel Trabuco Trail 14

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.

Shoe Review – Asics Gel Noosa Tri 7

Asics  Gel Noosa Tri 7 is a racing flat that features a non-collapsible heel counter, an inflexible forefoot, and torsional stability. Although these features are not typically found in racing flats, they can really make a difference for the midfoot and forefoot striker.

The only issue with this shoe is the shape (last) is more C-shaped than rectangular. The last shape — coupled with a waist that hourglasses in — can cause excessive pronation in certain foot types, as the following field review video shows.

Shoe Review – Solomon XR Mission

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.

Bump on The Top of Foot – Part 3

I have previously blogged about top of the foot bumps, Part 1 and Part 2. Prior posts addressed bony prominences (exostosis) causing bumps, but there can also be fluid filled cysts which arise from tendons or joints called ganglions, causing a bump.

Differentiation between the two can be determined by physical examination, x-rays, ultrasound and/or MRI. Typically, ganglions move beneath the skin whereas an exostosis does not. Fortunately, both conditions are benign, but if you have a bump on the top of your foot, you will still want to have it evaluated by a podiatrist.

Treatment for a ganglion include  extracting the cyst fluid contents with a syringe, followed by steroid infiltration or surgical excision.

The following video shows an in-office surgical excision of a ganglion by my colleague, Dr. Anthony Nguyen.

Minimalist Running Shoe Recommendations

Let me first say that I am not a fan of minimalist running for the majority of my patients. Having said that, “just don’t do it” is not an acceptable directive to runners who are going to run in minimalist shoes in spite of what I recommend. Due to this, I have reluctantly learned to evaluate minimalist running shoes. Not surprisingly, the best way to do this utilizes some of the same principles I use when evaluating non-minimalist styles.

First and foremost, does the shoe match the runner’s foot type? Unfortunately, most minimalist shoes only come in medium widths and none are available in narrow widths. This excludes up to 50 percent of the runners who need a narrow or wide width running shoe. Second, does the shoe make the runner’s stride, shock absorption and/or pathology better or, at the very least, not worse?

Armed with the answers to these simple questions, my colleague Samantha Gibson, Bsc(Hon) and I have evaluated over 50 models of minimalist running shoes on hundreds of runners with differing biomechanics, pathologies and foot types. Based on this, we have created a minimalist shoe list to give to patients to use as a guide and educational tool. It’s not a perfect list but at least these shoes have our preliminary seal of approval, which is important, given the constraints we are forced to deal with when recommending minimalist shoes.

Minimalist Shoe List

Once a minimalist shoe has been selected, I will evaluate the patient running barefoot, running in the minimalist shoe and running in an appropriately structured shoe. Based on this analysis, I will recommend whether someone is a candidate to wear minimalist running shoes or not.

Additional blog posts on barefoot and minimalist running are as follows and provide more of my thoughts about minimalist running:

https://drshoereviews.com/2009/12/04/barefoot-running/

http://www.podiatrytoday.com/blogged/why-recommending-barefoot-running-alternative-injured-runners-can-be-reckless-proposition

http://www.podiatrytoday.com/blogged/minimalist-shoes-and-injuries-keys-diagnosis-and-patient-education