Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Yesterday I went with my wife, daughter, mom and sister into a store called Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) to take a look at some minimalist shoes that I want to try out. I am running the Top of Utah Half Marathon in august and I don't think I will be quite ready to run it completely barefoot so I want to at least train partly in some shoes that will suit my new running style in case I am unable to do it completely barefoot. So anyway while we were there, my mom decides to ask the sales associate about my sisters shin splints and what the associate thought she might be able to do to avoid getting shin splints in the future (they don't like to listen to my advice, they think I am just a crazy barefoot runner following a crazy trend). So the lady working there says,

Well, I think one of the most important things is that you have a shoe with really good arch support. The less you support your arch, the more stress it is going to be putting on your shins. Also we have these awesome inserts that you can throw in your shoe to have even more support if the shoes aren't enough for you. 

Obviously at this point you know that I am DYING to call her out. Any barefoot runner or minimalist runner worth his toes knows that more arch support will NOT fix your shin splints. Its the way you run that will fix it, staying on top of your feet instead of extending them too far, or pushing yourself too far. It's NOT the need for a more supportive shoe! So she then tells us that she does not know as much as the other guy working there though so she calls him on the walkie-talkie and signals him over. Upon arriving, my mom asks him the same question. He says,

Well first off, you probably need to think about your stride, if you are overstepping and extending your leg too far, you can be putting a lot of strain on your shins  (FINALLY, someone who knows what he is saying...so far...). But I think that what you really need to be concerned about is that you buy a good shoe that fits all the contours of your foot and has a really good arch support.

Well so much for someone that I thought might know what he was talking about. Don't these guys know that there is no research that backs that up AT ALL? I guess not. Now this really wasn't that surprising, I didn't really expect for them to give me the answers that I know are correct, but it still pushed my buttons. So I try on a pair of minimalist shoes that I really like. The lady turns to me and says,

I have some minimalist shoes like those that I run in quite a bit, but I used them too much recently and my Plantar Fasciitis came back, so I had to switch back to a more cushioned shoe. So I mean, I would be pretty careful about those, they don't protect your foot like a good normal running shoe.

This was the point where I knew it was time to go home. Really? Your plantar fasciitis came back because of your minimalist shoes? Are you sure it isn't because you are slapping your heel in to the ground with your big fat "cushioned" running shoe? Silly EMS sales associates. I went home and bought the shoes I liked on Amazon.com. Check back later to see which ones I got!


  1. It's refreshing to know that someone else has had similar experiences to mine in retail stores!