Monthly Archives: June 2011

  • Does Barefoot Running Cause Injuries?

    foot

    [Image credit: ClintJCL]

    For all of the articles that pop up out there about barefoot running and it’s benefits, there are some naysayers out there. Recently, Matt Fitzgerald wrote about the topic on Competitor.com.

    The article goes on to raise a pretty hefty case against the barefoot/natural running movement, asserting that we should look beyond just feet when considering the biomechanics of barefoot running, and include potential spinal issues and existing bio-structural problems.

    Despite the articles claims’ of a “surge” of barefoot running related injuries, it admits that “what is not known is whether barefoot runners are now disproportionately represented in physical therapy and sports medicine facilities—in other words, whether barefoot runners are more likely to develop overuse injuries than shod runners.” To that end, can any of the doctors and sports therapists interviewed truly claim that there is such a high incidence of injury? To back up this claim, the therapists interviewed point to the rise of plantar fasciitis. I’ve never heard this injury described as uncommon; I suffered from it myself before switching to barefoot running.

    The piece goes on to state that not everyone is born to run, despite the claims, and that shoes aid people who might otherwise not be able to pick up the sport. Additionally, “one thing all of the medical professionals I interviewed for this article agree on is that many runners have no business even trying to run barefoot. ‘Runners who have what I call biomechanically disadvantaged feet need shoes, and often orthotics too,’ says Maharam.” Is this just another instance of the running shoe industry trying to over-engineer our natural stride?

    Though well-researched and well-written, this article brings up a lot of controversial topics. While the article claims to not be skewed towards anti-barefoot running advocates, it feels as though there is a certain active encouragement to not pursue barefoot running.

    It seems logical that some injuries would increase as more people try a new (old?) style of running. If folks are getting heel injuries while running barefoot, they’re not doing it right...

    The article may instill fear in those who are just starting out, turning them from the potential path of barefoot or natural running.

    Give it a read and let us know - what do you think? Does this change how you look at barefoot-style running?

    Read it in full here: http://running.competitor.com/2010/05/features/the-barefoot-running-injury-epidemic_10118

  • Top 10 features to look for in running shoes

    Everyday it seems the running shoe market is growing larger. The walls of your local running store are probably overflowing with the “newest and greatest” minimal shoe. So how do you choose from this glut of lightweight shoes? We at SKORA have amassed quite a bit of knowledge in the last few years from designing and developing our shoes, and we wanted to share some of that knowledge with you.

    There are ten major characteristics that we’ve identified that should be considered when purchasing a pair of minimalist kicks.

    1. Lightweight - Pick up your average running shoe. Now pick up a minimalist shoe. Feel the difference? Every ounce of weight in your shoe adds weight to your foot and your stride.

    2. Flexibility - When you run, is your foot able to flex and bend naturally? Or is the sole so stiff you feel like you’re clomping along? The more flexible the shoe, the stronger your feet will get the and more your stride will improve.

    3. No artificial support - This just adds weight (see point 1) and masks your stride, meaning it’s easier to get injured because you are not as aware of your bodies cues.

    4. No artificial stability - Like artificial support, increased stability takes you farther from your natural stride and makes it more difficult to run naturally and efficiently.

    5. Minimal cushioning - The layers of thickness and cushioning in contemporary running shoes are a modern concept. Adding this extra cushioning just means you’re more likely to run into overuse injuries. So look for shoes with a thin yet firm midsole.

    6. Zero-drop - Zero-drop means the shoe maintains the same thinness from toe to heel. A zero-drop shoe most closely mimics a barefoot stride.

    7. Wide toe-box - This gives your toes the freedom to land naturally. Since your feet swell as you run, this leaves a realistic amount of space for your foot to grow comfortably throughout and still have freedom of movement.

    8. Thin-soled - Like zero-drop, this allows your feet to feel the ground and react accordingly.

    9. Rubber outsole with good traction & durability - These features ensure more of ease of running over a variety of surfaces, wet and dry.

    10. Adjustable lacing and heel lock-in straps - These features encourage the closest and best fit of the shoe to your foot, minimizing the risk of rubbing or sliding.

    So there you have it, folks. From our brains to yours, the best features to look for in a minimalist shoe. Until of course, you can get your hands on a sweet pair of SKORA's.

    Run Real, SKORA

  • Things change, usually for the better...

    skora_strap-concepts_modelA Product design and development is a process.
    A process that challenges not only your concept but also your patience and endurance.

    Over the past couple of months here at SKORA, one of our challenges was the fit and function of our strap system for our laceless shoe model. What started as a Z strap, then it morphed into a Y construct.

    Sometimes a concept is just that, a concept. It requires testing and honest analysis and asking the tough questions; Can we do better? Our passion to create the very best running shoe drives everything we do.

    We finally arrived at a X shape strap design, which, after 6+ edits finally achieved the level of comfort, performance and practicality we were after.



    Here’s a sneak peek of just a side of the X-Strap design you can expect in the upcoming laceless design of our shoes.
    modelA_strap_lateral
    We’ve got much more to share in the coming months, so stay tuned!
    Run Real, SKORA

  • Sneak peek photo released

    We just posted a teaser shot of one of SKORA’s upcoming zero-drop running shoes. Our all-leather design with our anatomically rounded heel outsole. See for yourself on Facebook.com/RunReal.


  • Finding what's right for you

    2625709518_5cc9bd2453 [Image credit: drinksmachine]
    Barefoot and minimalism have come a long way in the last few years; I’d be hard pressed to see anyone today coating a sock with rubber to make their own minimalist footwear. The market is full of minimalist options, barefoot beginner guides and the still-popular over engineered, over-cushioned, stabilizing running shoe.

    I’ve talked before about choice and listening to your body. But what about when your body can’t make up it’s mind? Matt Frazier at No Meat Athlete recently posted about his minimalist running saga, moving from Vibrams to a minimalist shoe to minimal trail shoes to “traditional” trainers. What I find really interesting about this story is the reminder that determining how we run as individuals - barefoot, in a minimalist shoe, foot gloves, or all of the above - is a very personal process. And it is, indeed, a process.

    I say all this in the spirit of remembering that no people share exactly the same feet and no one product works for everyone (though I’m biased in knowing that SKORA shoes will come pretty darn close!). So I encourage you, as you continue on your journey to finding the right way to run for you, that you try everything.

    Happy trails!


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