General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee Rss Feed  
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2011-08-09 6:55 PM

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Subject: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

Looking for a bit of advice here. I began my triathlon journey back in February and started training in traditional running shoes, Asics GT-2160s, and quickly developed runner's knee (in both knees).

I did a boatload of research and decided to give minimalist shoes a go. I started out with the Nike Free 3.0 and migrated to the Merrell Trail Glove. Since going "almost barefoot," my knees feel great, however, I have developed a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. I did break into the shoes, starting out running no more than 1.5 miles at a time in them and gradually building distance as recommended. I also stretch religiously. 

Took some a few weeks off from running (and iced my heels daily) and the P.F. pain subsided. I decided to try the Asics again and my heels felt great after a few runs, but the knees ached again. Gave the Trail Gloves another shot yesterday and could hardly walk this morning because my heels were so tight. 

Any advice on the shoes, running form, etc.? And, which is the lesser of the two evils? 



2011-08-09 7:09 PM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee
I have been having some mild PF in my left foot. I run in a variety of ZOOT shoe's, mostly in their TT which is a light weight trainer/racer and race in their Ultra Speed, which is similar to the Nike Free. What I am finding helps is when I am NOT running, to go barefoot around the house and wear the kind of shoes you are running in when walking during the day and at my office. So you might have done this backward. You should run in the Free's and walk around in the Merrell's.
2011-08-09 7:40 PM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

I struggled with PF from everyday use -- not in an athletic sense -- and the thing that alleviated it the most, besides inserts, was wearing shoes with a proper heel to toe drop. Is it possible those Merrells are too flat for you? Maybe you could try one of the minimalist shoes with a slightly more traditional profile in terms of difference between the heel and toe. Did you have the same problems with the Nikes?

2011-08-09 8:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee
Or you could try an orthotic to support your arches, at least that's my N=1 that solved my PF issues.   I
2011-08-10 4:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

What my "PF type pain" is relieved by, is calf massage.  I do a lot of rolling and self massage to my R calf, and almost instantly my heel pain is significantly better.  I also roll my foot on a tennis ball for a few days after a long run, and I've heard many people say a frozen golf ball works well too. 

I was talking to my massage guy during, oddly enough, a massage and telling him how I was irritated that I was having so much heel pain, and he said that he wasn't surprised because of how knotty my calf was.  In a 45 minute massage, he spent 30 minutes just working on my right calf (this was a post race recovery massage, so I was only looking for legs anyhow) and 15 on the other, which was in much less distress.  The difference was amazing, so I've been keeping the pain at bay just with paying attention to the calf.  It may help you too.

2011-08-10 8:13 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

1. Go to have your gait and foot/lower limbs looked at. FInd out what kind of shoe you SHOULD be in.

2. See a runner-specific PT who can figure out what muscles are weak/strong and where your imbalances are so you can address them.



2011-08-10 8:22 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee
It sounds like you have found a few pairs of shoes that are completely wrong for you... I would find a good running store (or better yet a good running coach) to have your gait analyzed and then select shoes based on that.
2011-08-10 8:31 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee
mmrocker13 - 2011-08-10 7:13 AM

1. Go to have your gait and foot/lower limbs looked at. FInd out what kind of shoe you SHOULD be in.

2. See a runner-specific PT who can figure out what muscles are weak/strong and where your imbalances are so you can address them.

This!  There is quite a bit of range between Nike Free, the Merrells and the Asics 2160.  For me the 21XX line has way too much support but there is no way the Nike Free or any other minimalist shoe is going to work for me.  Talk to people who know about shoes and can look at your body and your gait then start making decisions on the next step for you. 

2011-08-10 8:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee
When you say your heel hurts that made me wonder if you are heel striking. When you are wearing shoes with more cushion it helps protect your feet but the impact ay be going to your knee. Just guessing but maybe you need to adjust your running form a little bit. Good luck.
2011-08-10 10:43 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

Does your log accurately reflect how much running you do? If so, it's possible you're doing so little running that your body is not making the necessary adaptations. Perhaps what you need is to follow a plan like C25K, or C210K.

The shoes you mentioned are designed for completely different running techniques/form. Which technique do you embrace? Heel striking as the 2160 is designed for, or forefoot/midfoot striking as the Merrell is desgned for? It's possible you need the stability feature, but can utilize a more minimal shoe. Choices like the Saucony Mirage or Asics DS Trainer may be more appropriate.

Do you overpronate, as the 2160 is designed to help? Or are you more neutral, or even supinate, in which case the 2160 is not a good choice and could contribute to the problems you're having. Have you gone to a running shoe specialty store and had a gait analysis done. For that matter, have you even done a basic self analysis by using something like the Shoe Fitter at www.roadrunnersports.com?

You've provided far too little information.

2011-08-10 11:34 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee
The trouble with PF is that the inflammation and pain that you get from overdoing it can take a day, or two, or even three to set in. You can feel fine while out running and then be hobbled three days later. The first priority is to get the inflammation down. For that you want to rest and use shoes with a heel lift. Then you need to build up the foot strength and flexibility again to help prevent a reoccurance, but very very gradually or you go back to square one and start again. Good luck!

Edited by Micawber 2011-08-10 11:39 AM


2011-08-10 11:59 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

Edited to revise to echo what one of the other posters said.   If your logs are accurate, it is hard for you to have enough running data to know what shoes are right for you. 

And, it is hard to diagnose your problem in writing, so I really suggest that you visit your local running store to have them evaluate your running stride and current issues and see if they can recommend a better shoe for you as it sounds like maybe you did not need all of the features in the GT 2160s.

However, I'll take a stab.  It looks like the Asics GT 2160s are a stability shoe, so they are very different shoes from the minimalist (no stability) shoes that you switched to.  I had some runners knee issues with stability shoes also (I was in Brooks Adrenalines, as recommended by my LRS), but have had zero knee problems in a "neutral" shoe (one without the stability or motion control).  Apparently my duck-like gait made it look like I was over-pronating when I was actually not pronating at all.  I run in the Brooks Glycerin or Ghost now.

Therefore, you might want to look for a traditional neutral shoe as a good happy medium between the two extremes of stability and minimal if it really is your shoes that are causing the PF.   A traditional neutral shoe might give your knees some relief without the stress on your calves caused by the minimalist shoes.  Minimalist shoes usually have a smaller difference between the height of the heel and front of the shoe (the "drop") than traditional shoes, so the change from the larger drop of the Asics to the smaller/no drop of the Frees or the Trail Gloves is probably just putting a lot of stress on your calves, causing you to feel the strain in your plantar/heel area.  However, if your knees are just irritated because they are adapting to the pounding of running, all of this is completely inapplicable.

You don't have to get rid of your minimalist shoes, but maybe only use them once a week or so and work up your time in them even more gradually than before (I know it feels like a glacial pace already!).  I have some Green Silence and that is what I do with them.

AND, FWIW, I have battled PF for a while and the quick list of what helped me includes both daily stretching and massage, but also the dreaded night brace.  Seriously, it is not pretty, but if I am increasing my distance or speed or if I feel a flare-up starting, I wear my brace for a few days and it usually goes away.

Please feel free to PM me if you want to discuss because it sounds like our gait issues are similar. 

Steph 



Edited by Mrs. brown_dog_us 2011-08-10 12:07 PM
2011-08-16 7:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

Thanks to everyone for the feedback and suggestions. 

I definitely intend to try out the massage idea. Recently found out my gym offers pretty good rates for members on sports massages so I'm looking forward to this suggestion Laughing

Also have been completing my short run in my Merrells and my longer run in a pair of older, but not oft-used Nike Pegasus. This seems to have reduced the severity of both issues, so I may continue in this manner until I can build up the strength and flexibility to run in the Merrells full time. I really like the way I feel when I am running in them, very light on my feet (and no, I am not a heel striker - I am a sprinter from way back) so I am going to try and work through this. 

Will probably seek alternative shoes if the problem with the PF persists though, as I intend to ramp up the running distance in the off season to prep for an OLY tri next season. 

Thanks again, 

Michelle

2011-08-17 12:12 PM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

I had knee issues as well and decided after reading born to run that I would go the minimalist route to see if I could alleviate some of the problem spots. I started with the trail glove and agree it is a great shoe. I will probably transition back in to them at some point down the road. The trail glove did eliminate the knee issues but my calf muscles would stage a major fit they day after any type of run. I went looking for a shoe that was less aggressive and ended up with a pair of f-lite 195's http://www.inov-8.com/Products-Detail.asp?PG=PG1&L=27&P=5050973125

I have been in them about a month and they have done the trick. No knee issues, I no longer heel strike and for some reason that is probably not related to the shoes and more to getting off my heels my cadence is a lot quicker. At this point I have actually removed the inserts from the shoes as well.

2011-08-17 12:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee
Micawber - 2011-08-10 11:34 AMThe trouble with PF is that the inflammation and pain that you get from overdoing it can take a day, or two, or even three to set in. You can feel fine while out running and then be hobbled three days later. The first priority is to get the inflammation down. For that you want to rest and use shoes with a heel lift. Then you need to build up the foot strength and flexibility again to help prevent a reoccurance, but very very gradually or you go back to square one and start again. Good luck!
This is good advice. I've been down with pf for several years, seen many pod's and ortho's and pt's.I think if I had just taken the anti-inflammatory early on it would have been less severe.Recently bought some glycerin 9's that are deep enough to wear with orthotics and have good cushioning. It seems to me that during the initial injury, inserts or orthotics take a lot of pressure off the tendon to allow for healing, but long term they seem to allow the foot to get a little lazy. Many people advise a variety of footwear to allow the feet to adapt to different platforms slowly, rather than being stuck in the same shoe all the time. My wife just got pf and went to the ortho, who has her on anti inflammatory twice a day, and oddly no shoe or orthotic recommendation. But I always tell everyone whatever you do, don't let anyone needle your calves for pf.
2011-08-17 5:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

These things have helped eased the pain of plantar fasciitis: 

1. Morning stretches. Doing foot circles and stuff before even stepping on the floor off the bed. 

2. Rolling the foot over a frozen water bottle (like a typical plastic one you buy from the store) or ball. I prefer the former since the coldness helps numb the foot. 

3. Massaging the calves help a lot. All those muscles connect with each other. 

These things have gotten rid of my plantar fasciitis and prevented other injuries: 

1. Changing shoes. Finding the right pair of shoes is really important. 

2. Knowing when to back off in running. If I feel any pain I ease up. 

3. Cutting down on running until my body healed. 

I never used a boot or any of the other stuff, but I'm not sure how serious mine was compared to others. There was a week where waking up in the morning was painful, but after doing a lot of these things consistently I eventually got back to normal. 



2011-08-18 6:49 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee
arquillo - 2011-08-09 6:55 PM

Looking for a bit of advice here. I began my triathlon journey back in February and started training in traditional running shoes, Asics GT-2160s, and quickly developed runner's knee (in both knees).

I did a boatload of research and decided to give minimalist shoes a go. I started out with the Nike Free 3.0 and migrated to the Merrell Trail Glove. Since going "almost barefoot," my knees feel great, however, I have developed a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. I did break into the shoes, starting out running no more than 1.5 miles at a time in them and gradually building distance as recommended. I also stretch religiously. 

Took some a few weeks off from running (and iced my heels daily) and the P.F. pain subsided. I decided to try the Asics again and my heels felt great after a few runs, but the knees ached again. Gave the Trail Gloves another shot yesterday and could hardly walk this morning because my heels were so tight. 

Any advice on the shoes, running form, etc.? And, which is the lesser of the two evils? 



In my experience stretching did nothing. I took an entire summer off from running and did stretching, rolling, the boot, etc. None of it helped. I then began running exclusively in Vibram Fivefingers. The PF would hurt during my regular work day, but would disappear when I would go out and run. I stopped doing all the rolling and stretching. And just began running in the VFFs. Soon the pain went away completely.

Who knows right?

lakeview - 2011-08-09 8:28 PM

Or you could try an orthotic to support your arches, at least that's my N=1 that solved my PF issues.   I


I'm not sure I would consider that solved. Actually I would definitely not consider that solved.
2011-08-18 7:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

ipull400watts - 2011-08-18 10:49 AM
arquillo - 2011-08-09 6:55 PM Who knows right?
lakeview - 2011-08-09 8:28 PM Or you could try an orthotic to support your arches, at least that's my N=1 that solved my PF issues.   I
I'm not sure I would consider that solved. Actually I would definitely not consider that solved.

Don't know what you mean Ipull (see quote above), but again FOR MY N=1, proper shoes & orthotics SOLVED my PF, or I should say has totally eliminated any PF issues for 36 months, despite multiples higher training racing volumes at70.3 and higher distance.  So ACTUALLY I WOULD DEFINITELY call that SOLVED!

2011-08-18 7:06 PM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee
Donskiman knows what he's talking about.  He, and that guy with the pint of guiness as an avatar are my mentors.  I had injury after injury until I started doing what they post.


Edited by morey000 2011-08-18 7:08 PM
2011-08-18 7:07 PM
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Subject: RE: Minimalist vs. Traditional Shoes = Plantar Fasciitis vs. Runner's Knee

Yes, the 2160's are good.



Edited by lakeview 2011-08-18 7:33 PM
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