Tag: running shoe

Can Maximalist Shoes Cure Your Plantar Fasciitis?

An article HERE explores “Can Maximalist Shoes Cure Your Plantar Fasciitis?”

I have worn Hoka One One maximalist shoes for several years. I started with winter after Elbrus Race 2010. That was winter 2010-2011. Previous to that Asics and Mizuno shoes worked well for me. I thought I was a supinator since most of the time my foot rolled to the outside. I had a running coach analyze my form and he said I was neutral with late-stage pronation. He suggested a neutral cushion shoe.

Winter Trailrunning in Maximalist shoes - Mafate WP from Hoka One One
Winter Trailrunning in Maximalist shoes – Mafate WP from Hoka One One

Maximalist Shoes I’ve Used

  • Hoka Mafate WP
  • Hoka Bondi.B
  • Hoka Stinson
  • Hoka Stinson EVO
  • Hoka Stinson Tarmac

I underlined the maximalist shoes I’ve especially loved over the years. As you can see, I’ve been using the Hoka One One brand for quite a few years, and literally thousands of miles. Check maximalist shoes by Hoka One One out on Amazon

Maximalist shoes and Plantar Fasciitis

My own story goes back to those Asics and Mizuno with the very solid plastic stability wedges and plates all over the midsole. Running in those actually caused me to slam my heel into the ground much harder than needed. That caused me much pain at the origin of the plantar fasciitis (where it connects to the heel). I focused on becoming a more mid-foot striker, slapping the ground with the ball of my foot as the heel lightly brushed the ground. I stopped running pavement as much as possible. I exercised my ankles and insteps to strengthen them. All of these were facilitated by my maximalist shoes. Especially the forward landing while running.

Bondi.B about 300 miles - the maximalist shoe that changed my running forever
Bondi.B about 300 miles – the maximalist shoe that changed my running forever

I think that adding maximalist shoes to my shoe rotation was instrumental in my eventually curing my plantar fasciitis. I actually recommend them to most of my friends with a few disclaimers. Make sure it fits. Use the thinnest insole it comes with. It’s relatively low drop, and there is very little stability, so get used to it gently.

In the article, linked at the top, LaMarche says. “The downside is the body does not do enough work and it can make you weak, possibly causing injury.”

On the contrary, there are several articles pointing out that the very soft foam is so forgiving and has so little stability, that many people experience extreme fatigue in their lower legs when they first start using maximalist shoes. This is important to train for. I recommend barefoot walking on a treadmill, and will put up an article soon with more information on that. If you want to make sure you see it, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter, to the right column. I’ll send you a notice when I publish the barefoot training article.

Remember, I’m not a doctor and I’ve never seen you run. Have your form and body analyzed by professionals and take my suggestions with a grain of salt. If it works for you great, but don’t hurt yourself. Thanks!


Shoes, Boots and Socks for Hiking and Mountaineering

I’d like to share my own recommendations for footwear for hiking, mountaineering and training from my current training program:

Mountaineering Fitness: Beginner Training Manual

If you’d like more info, please check out the page HERE to subscribe to the blog or the program.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFim2gFp-N4

If you’d like to subscribe now, you can do it below or from the CharlesMiske.com page linked above. It’s $30 for 16 weeks of training and includes the eBook text of the training manual, as well as 16 full weeks of training to get you to the top of your mountain this Summer. The form below will reveal the Buy Now button, so submit it and don’t reload the page. Thanks.

Sorry, offer expired for 2014

 

Spiked Running Shoes: Hoka One One Stinson EVO

Spiked running shoes are essential gear for the Winter runner. I had a pair of Hoke One One Stinson EVO with about 300 miles of trail use on them and I thought that I would be able to extend their life by spiking them. I also have a pair of Mafate WP that I’ve turned into spiked running shoes ARTICLE HERE.

Spiked Running Shoes in the snow without gaiters
Spiked Running Shoes in the snow without gaiters

I do a lot of trail running outside in the Winter. Up here in Summit County Colorado that’s sometimes about 6 months, give or take a little. It’s great training for moving fast on glaciers and it helps you build up resistance to the cold. The coldest I’ve been out now is -10/-24 Real Feel. It was cold. Yeah.

I began the spiked running shoes project just the same as with the Mafate. I brushed off the soles and drilled little holes for the screws – #6 x 3/8″. The rubber on the Stinson is pretty thin so you don’t really need longer screws, though it won’t hurt anything in the thick rubber midsoles. I used a power driver to put the screws in and then hand-tightened them a turn at the end. If you compare these photos with the Mafate WP, you’ll see that I have a lot more screws in the mid-foot area in the arch. I found over time that I spend a lot more time there than on my heels on flat surfaces, so I put more screws there. Screws on the heels are essential to downhill running so don’t skimp there. I put a screw more forward for pushing off with the toe.

Spiked Running Shoes: Stinson EVO Gallery

Since I created these spiked running shoes for winter training use, I’ve put about another 100 miles on them on varied surfaces. I’ve used them on dirt roads that are commonly used for snowmobiles and snowcats at a local ski resort. I’ve used them on single-track trails on mountain ascents. I’ve used them for running on ice-slicked and snow-packed roads and paved recreation paths. They work pretty good overall. It’s especially good if you consider that the screws all together cost about $1.00 US. Compare that to a set of Kahtoola Microspikes at $60 or more. I think it’s one of those 80/20 things (Pareto’s Principle) – the screws work on about 80% of what the spikes would.

Spiked running shoes next to their tracks - note obvious screw head imprints
Spiked running shoes next to their tracks – note obvious screw head imprints

Spiked Running Shoes Disclaimer

I had contacted Hoka One One about the midsole to find out if there were any plates or gas bladders to worry about when drilling or screwing. They said there was nothing to worry about. I saw some air channels in a cut-away sole at the OR Show in January 2014, but nothing significant. Your shoe might have some type of plastic plate in the midsole layers. Your shoe might have air or gas bladders. Your shoe might have a very thin midsole. If you don’t know for sure, then please don’t attempt to convert it into a spiked running shoe.

When wearing them, be very careful walking on tile floors. They might actually feel slippery on tile. They might also tear up your carpet or scratch your tile. Walking on metal grid stairways is a bit sketchy (BTDT). On boiler-plate hard blue ice you will still skate. I slid over 20′ down a steep grade where a creek flowed over the road and froze. I was flailing and pedaling with my feet trying to find something they would catch on for traction. I finally managed to steer to the side and stop in ankle deep hard snow.

Remember, I know nothing about you or your shoes so be careful and don’t get hurt while making them or running in them.

If you have spiked running shoes, either ones you’ve made yourself, or that you bought ready to run, let me know on my Facebook Page HERE and share pics of your soles. I’d love to see what you have.

Winter Trail Running in Colorado

Winter Trail Running is one of my favorite training routines. I love the cold air. I love the snow underfoot. It’s much softer than running on pavement. This morning it was 2 degrees F in Keystone Colorado. I had some other things to do, or I would have run first thing in the morning.

My 12 year old son wasn’t up for Winter Trail Running, but decided to go snowshoeing instead. I gave him a little head start. After a while I started up the road behind Keystone Resort in Colorado. The Ski Patrol uses this road to haul injured skiers down to meet the ambulance. Sure enough at the gate to the road an ambulance waited. About a quarter mile up the road I stepped to the side to allow the snowmobile to pass. There was an injured skier in the sled, with red and blue lights flashing.

For Winter Trail Running you have to experiment a lot with clothing and shoes. I try to dress as lightly as possible. This afternoon it’s about 15 degrees, but the sun will be going behind the ridge soon and the temperature will drop. I’ll also spend some time walking with my son. My plan is to run and walk in intervals. The Polar Graph shows my intervals best in the heart rate zone lines.

For my Winter Trail Running, actually any trail running, I like to wear my Polar RS800CX GPS G5 Heart Rate Monitor. I like the graphing functions in Polar ProTrainer, and export the data to Google Earth so I can see it from a very different angle. Using the Polar WebLink software I can upload my data to PolarPersonalTrainer.com but that’s very clunky. I only do that to add my Training Load data. That way I can plan my intensity of training for the next few days to ensure proper recovery.

Winter Trail Running Clothing

Today for winter trail running I wore a thin long sleeve training tee as a baselayer. Over that I wore a thin zipper hoodie. For my outer layer I wore a windproof winter training jacket. I wore a thin beanie from TNF, and in the shadow of the setting sun, I flipped the hood up. For gloves I wore a pair of REI winter cycling gloves with the lobster configuration, since my hands were a bit cold last year in my fleece gloves.

My lower body winter trail running choice was a single layer loose winter tight by Sporthill. I’ve never worn it before so it was a bit risky. It felt just a little warm in the sun, and just perfect in the shadows. On my feet I wore a pair of Injinji liners under a pair of Smartwool PHD thick mountaineering socks. They fit just perfect in the Salomon Men’s Spikecross 3 CS Winter Trail Running Shoes. I wore these on my hike up Quandary last winter. They have sharp square rubber lugs on the sole and steel spikes that stick in the ice. Tip: don’t put them on and walk on your tile or carpet if you can help it. They’re also noisy on asphalt.

Everything worked fine. I did sweat a little bit, and it got chilled a lot during those times I walked with my son. As soon as I started moving I warmed up again quickly, so I think it was a good balance. The shoes worked good, and my feet were never cold. These are very thick socks though. One thing I noticed is that these shoes do have a bit of a heel, and it’s very stiff. If you’re used to flatter, or more cushioned shoes it will take a bit of effort to stay forward on your toes. Especially on the downhills.

Spike and Run My Hoka One One Mafate WP

Spiking the Mafate WP

So I decided to spike my Hoka One One Mafate WP. First of all I posted on their Facebook wall, asking if it would be okay, since I have no clue what the internal structure is, and I didn’t want to run into any air pockets. They replied quickly and said it would be fine. I went to a few stores trying to find #6 x 3/8 hex head sheet metal screws. Finally at the Ace Hardware in Silverthorne, CO, I found a box and got it. I charged up my drill and went to work. First you clean and mark the sole. You want to put in about 8 total screws, maybe more, balanced around the ball of the foot, and some on the heel and outside heel area. I marked mine on the larger lugs, though I don’t know if it matters too much.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMaEC83m3Gw

I used a 1/16″ drill bit chucked way in, so that only about 1/2″ was sticking out, and drilled on the marks. Then I switched to a 3/8″ hex bit and sunk the screws until they felt tight. I set the drill clutch to #3, but it never clicked, so I don’t know if it would just keep stripping out the hole if you kept going – be careful.

Running Below Freezing pt 2

Today (blogging time) I had a chance to test them on a road I usually run a bit in the winter, so I could get a feel for them. Keystone Gulch Road connects a side road from Mountain House Base to North Peak and Outback Base at Keystone Resort. Snowmobiles, logging trucks, snowcats use the road regularly for work and rescue, and a variety of runners, snowshoers, pole hikers, and skiers use the road for training. The surface varies from gravel/snow/slush mixed, to hard ice, chopped ice, and soft and firm packed snow.

running along the keystone gulch road, overhead view
Running below freezing along a snowy road

Accuweather said it was 20 with a windchill of 10, and I figured I was pretty warm last time at 10, so I put on some Pearl Izumi windblocker tights, an Under Armour coldgear zip t-neck and boxer briefs, a Mountain Hardwear Superpower Hoodie, A TNF running beanie (discontinued model), and my First Ascent windpro gloves. On my feet I had the usual Injinji liners, and Smartwool PHD compression kneesocks. I decided to forego my TNF Better Than Naked wind jacket.

I put the shoes on at the door, so I wouldn’t scratch my floors, and then went out and did a warmup walk while waiting for the Garmin 305 to get a satellite lock. The sound of clicking on the pavement was a bit odd (even over my Kittie playlist), and I purposefully walked on some slicker ice sections to test it out, and had really good connection to it. Felt stable. I started the Garmin at the mouth of Keystone Gulch Road, and ran uphill for 3.04 miles to the base of North Peak area at Keystone.

looking down at feet in hoka one one mafate wp spiked running shoes
Hoka One One Mafate WP - spiked for winter traction

It was dang cold. I never really got warm. I kept the Superpower hood on almost the entire run. I was a bit slower than previously, but that might be because of my testing the modified Warrior Diet, or the altitude (9600′) getting me a bit more this trip, a bad night sleep – who knows? As far as dress goes, I did not get at all sweaty except for a few spots on my beanie, but then again, I did not ever feel warm. I think a windshell would be an absolute necessity this cold. The gloves were too cold, the Windpro was letting enough air in to keep me chilled. Perhaps something like Gore Windblocker would be better. I’ll dig around in my gloves to see what I have for next time.

looking up Santiago Express - Keystone Resort
North Peak Base - Santiago Express lift - Keystone Resort

Except for the deep looser snow (I did roll my ankle once – something people who fear Hoka shoes mention on the net a lot), the shoes ran quite well. I was pretty happy with them. I think I might add a couple screws to the midfoot area, since the Mafate seems to have a bit of rocker there. If you like the Hoka, and like to run in the winter, and might encounter firm snow or ice, I highly recommend you consider this relatively cheap and quick solution.

httpv://youtu.be/_bKa15kDKKk

Video above is primarily to demonstrate the “clicking sound” on ice. 10:00 pace on very slippery hard packed snow.

Review: Hoka One One Bondi.b

Hoka One One Bondi.b

Having used a MafateWP as one of my “snow running” shoes, and being generally happy with the cushy feel, I got a pair of the Bondi.B – a primarily street shoe that I’ve used on roads, trails, and treadmill for about 250 miles now.

In fact, right now it’s one of my favorite trail runners, and I’ve used it on every organized trail run, including 10k, half marathon, and marathon. Compared to the pic above, here’s how mine look now after about 100 miles offroad, and 150 miles other …

Bondi.b - on feet - dirty tops after 250 miles
Bondi.B from the top, on feet, showing wear and dirt
Bondi.B showing side on feet
Bondi.B from the side, on feet

In the two photos above, note the general wear and tear, including a crack near the left big toe joint I got during a trail 10K that I repaired with shoegoo. Also quite dirty compared to the marketing image at the top of the review.

Left shoe inside side view crack near toe
Left shoe inside side view - crack near toe repaired with shoegoo
Left outside side view
Left outside side view

Above two photos show side views. One of the most obvious differences in these shoes is the very thick, soft, cushy, foamy midsoles. Some people love them, others hate them. The foam has a lot of energy, and if you can try them on and run on pavement, you should totally feel it. Whether you like that feeling or not though …

Above in the video, I show the general characteristics of the sole. If you can’t really see what I’m doing, from the ball to the end is very soft, ball to instep medium soft, and heel fairly unsoft (though it will deform in twisting motions). Notice the speed with which it snaps back when I let go. Lots of energy, even after 250 miles (about half the life advertised, and I have no reason to doubt I’ll hit 500 miles).

For “anti-traditionalists” notice the sole is very rounded in shape (some people report being asked about their butt-augmenting workout shoes while wearing them). The hype implies that you’ll strike in the prominent middle foot area and roll off the toe without necessarily flexing your toes. Here are a few shots of my current sole wear at about 250 miles:

Middle sole zone
Middle sole zone - note moderate wear in white rubber, maximum wear in yellow foam area
Heel sole zone wear
Heel sole zone - note minimal wear in orange rubber, moderate wear in white rubber, maximum wear in foam area
Toe sole zone wear
Toe sole zone - note minimal wear in orange rubber, moderate wear in white rubber, maximum wear in foam area

Notice that there is minimal wear at the heel and toe, and a lot of wear in the middle instep area. So at least in my case it’s working as advertised.

Now down to the nitty gritty: the midsole is fat, thick, soft. If you need some type of support, it’s not there – this is majorly a “cushion-only” shoe. IMHO for my foot anyway, it seems to run about 1/3 size small.

Some people report very tired support and stabilizing muscles in their lower legs, and increased incidence of rolling because of the lack of support. I can’t dispute that, as I’ve felt the stress on the little support muscles as I got used to this shoe, and while I have rolled a few times in them, I normally do, so I can’t report that it’s any better or worse than any other shoe.

On a treadmill, the foam absorbs your impact quite a bit, which has one bad result – the belt feels like it stops just after your midfoot expands on it. It’s the weirdest feeling. Never read anyone else mention it though, so maybe it’s my wacked out gait?

Hype says the huge foam blob deforms to accept all terrain variations. I feel rocks, so I can’t really accept that. Maybe I’m just more sensitive? I mean, I really can’t walk across a normal concrete driveway barefoot without a lot of pain from the miscellaneous stuff that gathers on it.

Running uphill and downhill on the road is just freaking amazing. On the trail I had a lot of control issues on technical downhill. Took a major fall in the Aspen Backcountry Marathon, as well as a lot of sliding around that I managed to save. I talked to a few of the aid support crew who’d worn Mafate’s in the Leadville 100, and they said the same for that more popular offroad shoe with larger tread lugs.

I love this shoe, wear it frequently in my rotation, and despite the thin tread, it’s one of my favorite trail runners. One of my prime considerations in using it is the ease of recovery, probably from the impact absorption (though it appears I’m not a heel-striker, I’m big at 185 lb and 6’1″, and old, at 50+), not to mention the increase in strength I’ve noticed in my stabilizers.

Don’t take my word for it though, go try a pair on at a reputable running store and see if they’ll let you go outside (Boulder Running is where I got mine – nice people overall).