Thursday, November 13, 2008

Episode 29: Show Notes on Shoes

Episode SHOES
The life of the average running shoe is 300 to 500 miles
The wide range in lifespan is due to make up and materials but also the runner and the running surface.

Weight if the Runner a heavier runner will land with more impact than a lighter runner. Thus the midsole will compress more and lose it rebounding and elasticity sooner.

Cleanliness of the shoe. Running outdoors will degrade the uppers. Soil and debris like mud will wear away the upper just like any other material

Outsoles will wear away with surface abrasion. Trail shoe in particular will wear away from abrasion quicker than the midsole breaks down from impact. As a general rule, here is Canada our sidewalks are made from concrete. Apart from being one of the hardest surfaces a runner can run on, thus transferring the most force back into the joints. Concrete is one of the most abrasive surfaces we run on and therefore should be avoided at all costs.

Shoe type. Shoes are designed for basically three types of runners based on the varying degrees of pronation. Stability Shoes Pronators, Motion Control, Neutral Cushioning. If your foot roll inward from the ankle while you run you are a pronator. Basic checks: Check the arches, check the wear patterns on your shoes, check into a reputable shoe dealer.

There is a lot more about shoes that I could ever cover in one podcast But I’d like to talk about Trail Shoes

Trail Shoes are not meant for streets. Because of the uneven surfaces they don’t take a lot of pronation control into account for their design. In fact it’s a whole new ball game when we talk about trail shoes. The last is usually stiff because we expect rocks and roots. The midsole is tiff because we expect cushion from the ground. The upper is either waterproof or drains incredibly well. To use an analogy choosing a trail shoes is choosing a tire for your car. Mud Tires for 4 x 4s , Snow Tires for Snow, Slick if you want to go fast. The variations are endless. Some shoes are designed with thick lugs which are great for mud and dirt but maybe not so for slick rock or packed trails. Tread pattern is important so decide what is best. Keep your trail shoes for the trails. Avoid hot pavement and concrete which will shorten the life of your tread.

Quick note about Responsible Shoes I agree with Steve Runner. But the way to do it is not to boycott their shoes but rather write your congressman or MP. Ask for trade sanctions unless labour codes are improved. This goes way beyond shoes. Shoes are a drop in the bucket. Many countries are involved, many consumer products are involved from running shoes and sportswear to automobiles, computer software and hardware, electronics, virtually every product in your house has been touched by poverty stricken countries with poor labour practices. If we expose one company it just means those workers will lose there jobs or work for a sub contractor to a subcontractor of some other consumer product. While at the same time we voice our concerns we also must be ready for the outcome and the ripple effects we create. I’m sorry to sound apathetic but this is an inconvenient truth. As far as auditing goes once again this is very tough. In my own country auditing safety concerns has a huge backlog and only the worst o

In my own experience I am a heel striker and a pronator. I need an outsole that has a plate of rubber at the heel strike corner. I’ve had shoes that have had lugs at the heel and have ended up wearing out the heel lugs. I would love to find a shoe that has a little less cushion or midsole in the heel. The height of most of the trail shoes I’ve worn are higher than their road counterparts. The end result, or what I believe to be the end result is my heel strike is harder than my road shoes. Kyle Skaggs winner of this years Hardrock 100 wore a prototype shoe from New Balance which resembled racing flats. I’d be curious to try those. Anton Krupicjka sponsored by La Sportiva was once fabled to cut out the heel of his midsole to get a better feel

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chasing the Runner's High

This week’s episode I talk about the elusive Runner’s High. I recently re-read an article by Amby Burfoot of Runner’s World about the high and give you some of the highlights from the article. I then go on to discuss the merits of the article. Is it real and why can’t we tap into it more readily?

This weeks highlights from the Firehall
Still no TUNE notes this week.

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Ultradad.podcast at or read my blog at

Runner's High? Endorphins? Fiction, Some Scientists Say

Yes, Running Can Make You High