April 23, 2021

Gear | True Fitness Blog

I have been running for years and I have tried a variety of gear in that time. My shoe of choice was always Asics, but in the past few years I have switched to a more minimalist approach and I wear Vibram five fingers, Saucony Hittoris, Nike Free 5.0, and Zoots for my triathlons and longer distances.

As far as socks go, wicking technology is a must, (no cotton please) and I wear no socks when I run tri’s. Also obviously no socks in the Vibrams and the Hattoris.

As far as shorts, I have always preferred 7” Asics running shorts and a dri-fit shirts. If it’s a little colder I might go with an Under Armour base layer and long-sleeve dri-fit shirt. Anything colder and I usually just run inside. On the rare occasion that I do run outside when it’s in the 40’s I wear Under Armour running pants, skull cap and gloves.

Please give me your feedback I would love to know what you wear.

My wife can attest to my passion for trying the latest technology in athletic shoes and treating my feet with the utmost respect and care – I have a closet full of athletic shoes in every color and style.  I have tried every shoe you can imagine and of late have been trending to the tune of the minimalist approach.  I wear mostly Vibram five fingers, the Saucony Hattori, Nike Free 5.0, and Zoots for my trialthlons.

My feet became stronger from wearing these minimalist shoes, and I’ve found that I needed less and less support for my flat feet.  I decided to pick up a pair of Ascis (Gel Sky Speed 2) for some longer distance runs (over 10 miles) and all of a sudden what I thought was cured plantar fasciitis came back with a vengeance.  It was so bad I could barely walk. I went to see my buddy Dr. Franklin Polun (www.mydamnfoothurts.com ).

One cortisone shot later, a ton of stretching on a seated calf-raise machine, icing three times a day, wearing only my Nike Free’s, wearing a brace that gives me a stretch while I sleep and I’m finally feeling better.  I had my first run in 12 days today, a quick 5 miles and am icing as I am writing this.  I go back to see Dr. Polun this coming Wednesday to report my progress.  It still hurts but feels a lot better.

I will let you know what the end of this unfolding story is next week and hopefully my experience may help others with plantar fasciitis.

The Journey of my feet continues.  If you have been following my blog, you may have read some of my entries having to do with some of the various minimalist shoes that I like to wear. My current favorites are the Vibram 5 Fingers and the Saucony Hattori.  I do run in these shoes but not for more than 10 kilometers a time.

I started increasing my distances this summer, and I couldn’t find a shoe that I felt comfortable in.  I am a bit of an Imelda Marcos of athletic shoes, so I had quite a selection to choose from. After exhausting my selection, I went to see my old friends at RNJ Sports (http://www.rnjsports.com/shop/home.php), and they let me know that my feet have changed from wearing minimalist shoes so much.  My feet have actually become stronger and have moved away from needing some much support.  I am actually flat-footed and usually need more support in shoes that I wear for distance.

After trying on several pairs, I, for the first time, bought a shoe with much less stability.  I bought the Asics Sky Speed 2 and am loving my distance runs – and enjoying my new stronger feet that need less support!

Thank you minimalist shoes for making my feet better!

What is it?  FMS is essentially a test to analyze the ways you move. FMS identifies weaknesses or imbalances within the basic movement patterns and prescribes a series of corrective exercises, core training and stretches to correct the limitations within your movements. Its good for you!  By applying the prescribed corrective strategies, and “reteaching” your body to move properly, you will notice improved funcional performance.  Your potential for injury will be reduced. You will have a better understanding of proper body mechanics and quality of movement.  You will be able to move and train free of restrictions, limitations and imbalances.

Its good for your trainer!  FMS is easily applied and provides a simple system of grading to help us assess and quantify the quality of your movement.  We will serve you better by being better able to identify weaknesses and imbalances, and strengthen them with simple corrective exercises.  We will be able to better individualize your training program to help you achieve greater results.

JETT Training incorporates the Functional Movement program into all its client’s regimens.  For more information, visit www.jettllc.biz.

Some tips to keep you safe while exercising in the heat:

Awareness:  If you have an activity planned, check the forecast so that you know what to expect from the weather.  If possible, exercise in the morning or evening when it is cooler.

Acclimate:  If you are unacustomed to exercising in heat and humidity you may have to take it easy at first.  Your body may tolerate less at higher temperatures.

Hydrate:  Drink plenty of fluids.  Do not wait until you are thirsty, by then you’ve already gotten dehydrated.  Water is best, but sports drinks can be useful for long workouts.  Avoid alcohol or caffeinated beverages.

Dress Appropriately:  Wear loose, light-colored clothing, and a hat that shades your face if possible.  Wear sunscreen.

Observe:  Listen to your body!  If you begin to feel nauseous, weak, cramped, confused, dizzy, or develop a headache, you may be overheated.  Take a break, or stop altogether.  Be aware of any medical conditions that can be exacerbated by heat.

Careful planning and safe behaviours mean that you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities, even in the heat!

High quality shoes are important for anyone who works out consistently or spends a lot of time on their feet and this is especially true for soldiers. I gained an appreciation for high quality running shoes early on in high school. I started running cross country and quickly developed shin splints when I was wearing shoes that I just liked the look of and thought were comfortable. Since then RnJ in downtown Bethesda has become my go to for running shoes. Personally in the past 6 years I’ve only worn two different models of shoes; the Asics Kayano and more recently the Asics 2100 series,  and I  have seen a drastic reduction in minor aches and pains resulting from running and working out.

I find it incredible how many of my fellow Army peers do not understand the importance of a high quality, well-fitting running shoe. In the morning I look around and think it’s a miracle that more people are not hurt based on the shoes they are wearing.  I recently learned that the individuals who go through infantry basic training are issued one standard set of running shoes; this came as a huge shock to me and is highly concerning.  Basic trainees are constantly on the go and I would have to think that the injury rate must be high.

As we all know Vibram 5 finger shoes have been all the rage recently within the running and exercise community and recently there has been a trickle down into the military and I’m no exception. I have been wearing my Bikilas for a couple months now and I love working out in them. Though the regulation is not entirely clear at this point it appears that the Vibrams are not authorized for PT. And though there are certain workouts that I would really like to wear my Bikilas I overall think it makes sense to not allow them. Too many people buy them without understanding how to wear them, when to wear them, or how to break them in. Lack of knowledge about Vibrams can quickly lead to injuries.

Boots are another constant source of problems for soldiers and injuries issues. A common name for a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal is a “marching fracture” and that name comes from soldiers developing stress fractures from so much marching. Boots are always issued to soldiers and generally are very uncomfortable and take a long period of time to break in. Once soldiers are out of training they can purchase their own boots and now more and more companies are making boots that are authorized for wear in uniform and are extremely comfortable.

I recently discovered that Nike makes a pair of boots and I will never wear another pair. They are based on the design of the Nike Free running shoe and when I’m wearing them I almost forget that I have boots on; they are that comfortable!