Olivia – running shoe recommendations?

old running shoes

Hello Hip Runners,

Happy 2018! I’ve decided it’s time to retire my old running sneakers, which I’ve had since well before my THR last February. Now that I’m starting to run more often, I was curious if any of you here on Hip Runner had recommendations for specific types of running shoes, or advice about any special considerations I should keep in mind while shopping.

Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks in advance,

Olivia (a.k.a. “Battle Hip”)

8 thoughts on “Olivia – running shoe recommendations?

  1. Depends on your biomechanics, down below. This will drive people nuts who drank the coolaid on “structure” or “cushioning” to correct so-called “issues” with foot plant, toe-off and the rest of the stride. For example in many stores you will have well-meaning sales people try to convince you that pronating or supinating is bad.

    We naturally all supinate or pronate or do something-something at foot strike. If your foot strikes, bears weight and allows toe of under fairly normal movements (not some real odd way, hence: biomechanics), then you likely do not need cushioning or control. Stabilizers, hard, plastic heels, inflexible shoes, shoes with a big heel-to-toe drop etc etc are likely to be making your foot do something it is not designed by genetics to do. In other words: causes injury or weakness.

    The shoe in the image appears to be fairly light looking. I would adjust to a minimalist shoe if you have the patience and are within reasonable normal biomechanics.

    If I had my druthers, racing flats for everyone!

    Allowing your foot to move freely will allow it to strengthen naturally.

    Leonardo da Vinci considered the foot an incredible engineering feat (pun, yes) – a wonderful work like a well-engineered suspension bridge.

    The legendary coach who basically discovered modern running Arthur Lydiard call Plantar Fasciitis “American shoes disease” because they didn’t have a name for it back then (1950s-1960s).

    If you heel strike a lot, it is likely to wearing a too-built up shoe with a big heel. Heel striking is biomechanically not natural – although there are some people who will heel strike a tiny bit in a natural way, but barely. Imaging running up a steep hill!! If you heel struck going up, you would fall over backwards.

    Try this if you haven’t yet. Go onto a soccer pitch or sandy beach and take your shoes off, do some strides, voila!! You naturally go mid-foot or forefoot!!

    The only issue here is whether your foot is shaped from years of wearing heels, dress shoes, controlling running shoes etc etc. If so, you might have to start the process and go gradually to adapt to minimalism in shoes….;o)

  2. No minimalism if you ask me,my shoe is Hoka one one,use only Hoka even when i not running,two THR in one year,and has run four ultra and one maraton this first year and always in Hoka.

  3. Use to run in Brooks GTS’, mostly because the fit was near perfect. With that shoe “out of the box” I could run a marathon without a single issue, it’s almost as if they used my foot as a template for their 9½ 2E’s. After my THR I switched over to Hoka Bondi’s, the fit was so-so but I really wanted to soften the shock on my new hip. And for the first year I think it did the job. The only issue now is that the Bondi toe box is a bit narrow and that cost me too many toenails. So I recently purchased some Hoka Clifton’s, those have the most toe room in Hoka’s line up, but I have yet to actually run in these. I also purchased some Brooks Ghost, looking to get that nice fit and for Brooks the Ghost has the most cush.

    So I pretty much recommend what I did, Hoka’s for the first year, after that buy your favorite shoe brand that offers the most cushion going into year two (that’s me).

  4. I haven’t run in a built-up shoes for a long time and certainly not a Hoka or Hoka-style shoe ever.

    My concern about that type of shoe is the artificial recoil and amplified reaction up the leg.

    What I do know is that the foot, ankle, knee and the musculature right up the leg is naturally there to absorb shock, first through dorsiflexion and plantarflexion, calf-achilles, quadracepts, hamstrings and supporting tendons and muscles are there to take care of so-called “impact”.

    Practice running smoothly and your body will take care of the so-called “impact”.

    My other issue is the weakening of the foot and ankle while wearing Hoka-style shoes with massive cushioning. Think of a ballet dancer and how powerful their feet and ankles are. This will naturally take up so-called impact and if you want to run faster, your push off will be better with stronger lower leg/ankle/foot strengthening, as well as stride frequency.

    So: Weakening the foot/ankle with false support in cushioned shoe versus strengthening the foot/ankle area and being more powerful, faster and not have to worry about shoes – buy anything that feels good and is light and flexible. Good luck.

  5. Now if you go to YouTube and search such things as “Kenyan Running Form” or something like that you will see how little vertical oscillation there is when you run with good form (something you can practice). There is a decent one on Mo Farah with over 200,000 views. The narrator points out the good parts of his stride that we can all incorporate.

    Now none of us are Kenyan, but the principles of good running form apply too all. Not a single elite middle-distance or long-distance or ultra-runner use super-thick Hoka-style shoes. Now someone I am sure will search out and find a sub-elite, trendy person who trains occasionally in Hokas or something to prove me wrong ;o)

    I know that following these principles, which were discovered by Arthur Lydiard and are now practiced by all successful coaches, I used on myself and improved my form in a very big way.

    Run with volume (as you can) and enjoy the hills.

  6. Everyone has their opinions and preferences. I can understand the minimalist approach. Reading ‘Born to Run’ gave me an even better understanding of minimalist running. But for me, I definitely choose the Hoka Cliftons. Light and comfortable, they are like running on clouds….

  7. I’ve tried Hoka and other shoes on short runs and hated every one of them, so it’s definitely preference. For me I prefer to run in lighter shoes with a smaller drop-off (4-8mm). I also think cadence is a big factor in running, I try to run around 180 steps a minute, easier when you’re running faster and takes some practice when slower but it helps keep you light on your feet. In run in On Running, Newton and Adidas as my main shoes.

  8. I try to keep my personal perspective secondary because I think we can end up being incorrect in the long run (see what I did there?). There is no telling (sometimes) that we are doing things incorrectly, but for the now, seems fine.

    So I seek the scientific proof as well as the practical application, long term. I am fortunate to have a friend who is one of the best exercise physiologists in Canada and perhaps the world and have access to others. I typically defer to Arthur Lydiard’s history.

    So when I wrote of “ballet dancers” and “minimalism”, I am not hoping that this is correct information, it is backed by scientific research and Lydiardism.

    Remember those rocker shoes in the 90s where everyone was convinced that they helped abs of all things? They got sued and that put an end to that. They were very similar to the thickest shoes of today (not just Hoka brand). Remember when Vibrams were all the rage? They got sued too and that nearly killed them. None of the lawsuits help the education process. The average person is no better educated about feet and footwear and running today.

    We are born naked. Shoes are a man-made invention. Although shoes keep us warm and protect from rocks and roots, they should not alter the natural state of the foot. Google search images of shod and unshod feet. At first glance, you will think the unshod feet are deformed, but they are not, it is the shod feet that are deformed/altered.

    The foot is an incredible engineering feat by mother nature and is the first and most sensitive touch point when moving. If you let them weaken, babied in overly cushioned shoes or alter them by wearing hard dress shoes, you will run into problems (see what I did there?).

    If you are middle-aged, it would be a longer-term process to adapt to minimalism after a lifetime of wearing shoes….so be careful…the people that sued Vibram proved they got injured from minimalism, but were also completely devoid of anatomical knowledge; they rushed into it.

    So how can something completely unnatural like a two-inch thick mattress under the feet be better than the foot itself? It can’t.

    Of course, I could be wrong, but human intervention like this is often catastrophic.

    My own perspective (being secondary and all):

    I went to minimalism very gradually. My form improved. My push off became powerful. Running uphills was a pleasure and I could wear any shoe I damn well wanted. Worn out old ripped up trail shoes, shiny new racing flats, track spikes, hiking boots, heavier trainers….but mostly, I wore less, nice flexible, light, roomy shoes….

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