Category Archives: Shoe Fit

Shoe Review – Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 vs. 12

Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 is one of my favorite shoes. It’s supportive and structured without being heavy. Wave Alchemy 12 is equally supportive — but runs narrower than version 11 as the following video shows.

Shoe Review – Brooks Ravenna 3 vs. Ravenna 2

The differences between Brooks Ravenna 3 and Ravenna 2 primarily involve volume and cushion. Version 3 is deeper, has more volume and fits less snugly than version 2. Ravenna 3 also has a softer midsole, which is great for cushioning but not as durable as version 2.

Overall, Ravenna 3 is a great shoe, however because of the changes with version 3, you will want to try on and confirm fit prior to purchasing. Video comparison between the two versions can be found here:

Here’s my previous post on Brooks
Ravenna 2:

Shoe Review – Asics Gel-3030

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.

Shoe Review – Asics® Gel-Nimbus 13 in Different Colors

Reader Paula asks —

Although you haven’t reviewed the Asics Gel Nimbus 13 for women, I wanted to comment on it, since I’ve had a strange experience. I bought a pair about a year ago in the Lightning/White/Magenta color, size 10 M. They were very cushioned and fit pretty snugly. Just a month ago, I replaced them with another pair of Asic Gel Nimbus 13 in the exact same size, but this time I got the White/Lightning/Turquoise color. The new color fits differently and has less cushioning! It is wider and deeper, and the sole feels harder. The magenta ones felt like running on marshmallows, and the turquoise ones don’t have the same spring. They are really uncomfortable. Can you shed any light on this? Do shoe companies change the construction of the shoes based on color? This seems crazy to me.

Concerned that Paula’s question might be true, I tracked down Asics Gel-Nimbus 13 in both colors. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the shoes were slightly different even though they had the same name. Hopefully, this is just an aberration due to different manufacturing facilities and nothing to worry about. Otherwise, we’re all in trouble as there will be no consistency even within the same version of shoe. Here’s my video analysis of the same model shoe in two different colors.

Sizing Soccer Cleats

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.

Shoe Review – Nike Zoom Kobe VII Basketball

I was recently at Foot Locker and found an extensive selection of basketball shoes. Not surprisingly, I discovered that Nike has the best basketball shoes available this season. I was underwhelmed by the other brands I evaluated at the store, including Adidas, Reebok, Converse and Under Armour.

I previously blogged about the Nike Zoom Kobe VI basketball shoe, which is one of my favorite basketball shoes. Version VII is equally good. If you have a narrow foot, then you know how difficult finding a basketball shoe that fits can be, since most only come in medium widths.

Even though sized medium, Kobe VII runs narrow (rectangular upper), which will benefit a lot of players out there.

In profile, you can see how shallow the upper is, especially in the midfoot and toebox areas.

New to Kobe VII is the Attack Fast insole, shown below, which has a thick, cushioned insole that aids shock absorption. Attached to the insole is an instep cuff that provides additional support and enhanced fit. If you have a history of ankle instability, the Kobe VII with the Attack Strong insole may be a better option. The Attack Strong insole has an ankle cuff for added ankle support.

The best part of this shoe — Kobe VII is torsionally stable, with a non-collapsible heel counter. This means that even though it’s technically a low-top style, the Kobe VII is going to be more supportive than many other mid-tops out there.

All in all, if you have a narrow foot, you will want to consider this shoe.

Shoe Review – Saucony® ProGrid Hurricane 13 vs. PowerGrid Hurricane 14

***Spoiler Alert*** Saucony® PowerGrid Hurricane 14 is nothing like ProGrid Hurricane 13. As the following video shows, Saucony® has converted their signature version 13, stability shoe into a cushioned, potato shoe. This change will affect every runner wearing version 13, who requires pronation control and support.

Alternative shoes to Hurricane 14, include Brooks Trance 11, or Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12.

My previous reviews on Saucony® ProGrid Hurricane, follow the video.

Saucony® Hurricane 12 vs. 13

Saucony® Hurricane 11

Saucony® Hurricane 9 vs. 10

Modified Shoe Lacing Soccer Cleats

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:

Shoe Review – Adidas AdiPower Predator TRX FG Soccer Cleats

Just had my first look at these sleek, well-made and expensive cleats.

All I can say is Adidas, what did you do? The concept is great (lightweight, yet rigid), the style is great (cool colors, streamlined look) but the back cleats are manufactured to sit uneven which will be a major problem for a lot of Soccer players out there.

The above image shows a new-out-of-the-box pair placed on a flat surface. New cleats should NEVER do this. In fact when cleats wear this way, they should be immediately replaced. Adidas Product Defect Department assured me that their cleats are designed level, however a trip to the Adidas Sport Performance Store in San Francisco, confirmed that every new pair of AdiPower Predator’s was manufactured in this way.

Here’s an image of a pair of Adidas F50 AdiZero TRX FG which rest level on a flat surface. This is what you want to look for when shopping for shoes.

If you are excessively pronated or experience problems due to pronation (instep pain, arch pain or inner knee pain) then you will want to steer clear of AdiPower Predator TRX FG . For this reason, I can’t endorse this soccer shoe.

Shoe Review – Asics Gel-Kayano 17

Here’s my latest video shoe review on Asics Gel-Kayano 17. Unfortunately, the current Gel-Kayano is a shoe I just can’t endorse. Hopefully, Gel-Kayano 18 will make me a believer again.

Here are links to my other Gel-Kayano shoe review posts:

Shoe Review – Asics GT-2160

Asics GT-2160 is the perfect shoe for a narrow, shallow foot 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.

Plantar Fasciitis Question

Reader Mark writes “I had no idea that plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis were related. I’ve also been told that rolling your foot on a tennis ball while seated is good for stretching the plantar fascia. Is this a good idea, or is it doing damage? I’ve found it really relieves the pain for a while. Also I am wondering if shoes that are too loose or tight might be a factor.”

Mark asks great questions and ones I get every day. First lets talk about rolling your arch over a tennis ball…I’m not a fan. I know that many physical therapists and other sports medicine specialists will recommend this but in my experience agressive stretching of the plantar fascia can lead to tearing or even rupture of the plantar fascia. Athletes in general do things in a big way and stretching with a tennis ball is no different. In this case, experiencing a stretch so good it hurts, can actually be doing harm. Better off to make an appointment with your local sports medicine podiatrist for evaluation and treatment.

In general, shoes that are too loose are worse than too tight and shoes that are too short are worse than too long. The more loose your shoe, the more your foot will pronate which can cause plantar fasciitis. If your shoe is too is too short, particularly heel-to-ball, your plantar fascia won’t be properly supported as this image shows.

Lacing for Heel Slippage, Top of the Foot Bump and Bunions

Modified shoe lacing can help with a variety of shoe fit problems. Today’s video tutorial shows you how to do this for the following problems:
1. Heel slippage
2. Bumps on top of the foot
3. Bunions or a wide forefoot

Here are my related posts on top of the foot bumps,

Shoe Review – Brooks Addiction 10 vs. 9

Today’s video compares Addiction 9 to Addiction 10 and highlights the changes to 10 which may make a difference for you. Overall however, Addiction 10 fits similar to Addition 9 and still is a great shoe for the shallow, pronated foot.

Determining Proper Shoe Fit – Width and Depth

In order to achieve proper shoe fit, it’s important to take into account volume. Volume = length x width x depth and when choosing a shoe you should try to match the volume of your shoe to the volume of your foot. I previously blogged about length using the Brannock Device which is the first component of volume. The following video shows you how to evaluate width and depth, the final components of volume.

Athletic shoe companies never talk about the upper or depth of a shoe. Instead they categorize shoes according to the lower (midsole) using terms like motion control, neutral or cushioning. Approaching shoe fit in this way only tells half the story and when you don’t take into account overall volume shoe fit and performance are compromised.

Shoe Review – Brooks Ariel

Brooks Ariel is a great shoe for the excessive pronator who also has a wide, deep foot. Brooks has kept the shoe the same for the past several years which is great for those women who rely on this shoe for serious support. Here is my latest video on Brooks Ariel. Additional posts follow the video.

Determing Proper Shoe Size – Brannock Device

Proper foot measuring is important and not understanding how to do this can mean the difference between comfort and pain. Many people have seen a Brannock Device, but few know how to use it correctly. This video teaches you how make sure your shoe salesperson is doing it right. 80% of my patients measure longer heel-to-ball than heel-to-toe. If you also measure longer heel-to-ball then using one finger beyond the longest toe method will not work for you and your shoe will not fit as well as it should.

Here are my previous posts on measuring feet which together with the video should give you a comprehensive overview on how to properly measure your feet.

Shoe Review – Saucony ProGrid Guide 4 vs. 3

In general, I’m a huge fan of Saucony ProGrid Guide and version 4 is even better than version 3. My only caution is width. Guide 4 is slightly narrower than Guide 3 which this video shows.

Brooks Addiction 10 vs. Brooks Adrenaline 9

I have always recommended the Brooks Adrenaline for a narrow foot, but am pleased to announce that Brooks Addiction is also an option for a narrow foot. In fact, if you have a flat, narrow foot, Brooks Addiction is probably your best option.

Similar to the Adrenaline, the Addiction has lots of medial EVA which is great for heavy pronators.

It also doesn’t hourglass in at the waist which is good for flat feet.

Both models come in narrow widths – A width for women, B width for men. Overall, I am very pleased with the new Adrenaline as it fills a much needed void for the narrow foot category and at only 3 ounces heavier than the Adrenaline, the Addiction 9 is sure to please.

Miles Austin III – Get Some Better Fitting Nike’s

I was shocked last week when the July 26, 2010 Issue of Sports Illustrated arrived in my office. There on the cover is Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Miles Austin III, running down the field with holes in his Nike sponsored cleats where his big toes should be. Yikes…one of the faster ways to derail athletic talent is to wear shoes that don’t fit properly which is happening here.

Without seeing how the cleats fit when he is standing still it is difficult to determine whether there is too much volume and he’s sliding forward or whether the toe box is simply too short. One thing however is certain, having your toes exposed and unprotected is not a good thing, especially in a field sport. I think Mr. Austin’s trainers should give me a call.