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Equipment Outfitting a serious gym. Vendors & suppliers. Devices & equipment

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Old 02-09-2007, 09:24 PM   #1
Alain Latour
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Hey everyone,

I've been looking into the Nike free shoes and so so far they seem to work for a lot of people. The problem is I've barely found any info on Nike free shoes for people with flat feet ie overpronated feet. If I didn't have them I would've bought the Nike Free shoes already. What do you guys think? Are they OK for weights but not for running? And if I do get them should I get the 5.0 or 7.0?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:48 AM   #2
David Wood
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Hi Alain, and welcome to CrossFit!!!

I can't help with your (excellent) question, but I'm moving it to the "Equipment" section, where, I hope, it will get more attention.

There's been a lot of previous discussion of shoe types (just use the search function for "Nike Free"), although I don't think your specific question has been addressed before.

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Old 02-10-2007, 09:11 AM   #3
Jason Steele
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A lot of the problems with flat feet can be decreased with a proper running style (e.g. Pose) that negates the improper striking of the foot. I personally don't like the Frees, they still have too much cushion in heels. I'm sure Eugene has a pair or four....
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:08 PM   #4
Eugene R. Allen
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C'mon Jason...you make me sound like a junkie, an addict unable to control his purchasing impulses. (Have you been checking out my credit card statements?)

Alain - be careful of running in that type of shoe with your "soft" feet. Flat feet generally need more support because they tend to pronate (roll inward) on foot strike which wreaks all kinds of havoc with ankles, knees and lower backs. For running you will do better with control type shoe rather than a cushioned type shoe. I have very high arches so my feet need more cushioning because my feet have the opposite problem of yours and are very rigid.

If the shoes are for CF workouts and you don't plan on running in them wrestling shoes work great as do Olympic lifting shoes. In fact the Converse Chuck Taylor's are also a great pick and would be OK for short runs of the Helen variety.

Not to support Jason's absurd suggestion that I am a slave to equipment manufacturers (in fact I could quit buying stuff at any time) one of the gals who trains with me gets a heads up as to what kind of workout we are going to do based on what kind of shoes I have on. She is happiest when she sees I don't have running shoes on as she does not like to run. She knows if I am wearing my Chucks, my Pumas, my Vibram Five Fingers or my lifting shoes we are staying inside the gym but if I have any of my running shoes on, she knows a run will be on the menu.

The Frees are not the best choice for your type of foot because they offer no support (complete freedom of movement so it's like being barefoot) and though being barefoot might work for Abebe Bakila it is not likely to be the way for you to go...at least not for any great length of time.

Consider a chat with a podiatrist or at least someone in a running shoe store about this so you get another opinion on the subject. Take care of those footsies...just two to a customer.

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Old 02-11-2007, 08:49 AM   #5
Allen Yeh
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Alain,

I had/have flat feet, by that statement I mean I used to have very flat feet, in fact I had podiatrists, drill sergeants and running shoe sales people all surprised by how flat my feet were. That was about 2 years ago.

I had started to learn about running POSE method with the shoes I had gotten from the running store, one of the best for stability /motion control along with inserts inside of them. They probably were almost a pound each.

In January 2006 I bought a pair of Nike Free Trainers 5.0 because like you I was very curious what they were about. I followed the instructions on the box very carefully (it states inside the box for people with flat fleet to take a much longer "break in" period with those than other peopled. The break in period pretty much consisted of wearing them all around the house just for walking and run very very little. Just walking around my own place for a few hours a day put a hurting on my feet. They were very sore, some days I thought "holy crap, what did I do by buying these??" Since I had spent a good amount of money on them I I refused to give up on them. I actually kind of retooled my walk and when I eventually started running in them it was a huge difference in comparison to my heavy running shoes.

A few weeks ago I was just laying about when my wife noticed that my foot had an arch in it, not as arched as her own or others but there was definitely a noticeable arch developing. I was kind of shocked actually because as far as I can remember my feet have always been like this. I attribute it to the following things:

1. Retooling the way I run - I had changed my stride to the way my feet would hit the ground.
2. Retooling the way I walke
3. Nike Free's - I'm sure there are other shoes that are just as flexible and and flat but I don't have any experience with those others.

I typically wear my Nike Free's when I'm out or when I go to the gym, the only times I don't use them in the gym is when it's a deadlift or squat day.

I recently bought a pair of the 7.0 trainers online but I haven't received them yet, but from what I've heard from others they are similiar to the 5.0's. The reason I went with the trainers instead of the runners is I typically run short-mid distance, I hardly ever run more than a 5K. I use the shoes for when I'm working out mostly.


Hope this information helps, things to look out for is "overworking your feet" and definitely give yourself a good break in period.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:56 AM   #6
Alain Latour
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Thanks guys. I guess I'll go for Chucks, as I do intend to go for short (400 m) runs.

One last question: should I wear my orthotics with these shoes?

Once again, thanks a lot!

Pity about the Nike Free... I love the idea --and the looks.
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:02 AM   #7
Alain Latour
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Well thanks Allen. Now I'm scratching my head... I get all sorts of different opinions. I guess I will have to go to a foot specialist before making any decisions. The problem is, a lot of them are traditionalists or just plain afraid of recommending a new technology that might cause you harm, which leads to being too much of a conservative.

But thanks to all of you guys. This is the best forum I've ever been involved with.
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:30 AM   #8
Jason Steele
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"C'mon Jason...you make me sound like a junkie, an addict unable to control his purchasing impulses. (Have you been checking out my credit card statements?)"

Junkie? Not at all. Your assessment of the FiveFingers made me go get a pair. My wife wants to know where I get these crazy gear ideas from...

I actually started running in my FiveFingers, working up to some appreciable mileage. They really force you to run correctly. Alain, have you tried just running some really short distances in the grass with bare feet? It will give you some idea of what the Pose method feels like. I don't have any experience with flat feet, but I will emphasize that many running store personnel don't really understand the Pose style. Correct physiology will overcome orthodonics over time.

Slow and steady!
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:16 PM   #9
Will Nuse
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Allen, can you clarify something for me? Did your wife notice that you had an arch when you had your foot in a neutral, unloaded position while propped up on the couch, or when you were standing? I have had the flattest feet of any human being I know except for my father (not a big surprise) but I still have an arch in a neutral position; they casted my custom orthotics off of my feet in that position.
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:44 AM   #10
Allen Yeh
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Will,

It was at first a neutral unloaded position, which is how my wife had first observed how flat they were to begin with years back. After my wife said something about an arch developing I began to look at it from standing and it doesn't disappear when standing, I even did the wet test and while there was definitely a difference from what they used to be to what they are now.


Alain,

IMO, the entire intention of wearing shoes like Chucks/Frees/pumas and five fingers is to not wear inserts and orthotics but to get as much "feedback" from the ground as possible as well as avoiding problems that lead to wearing running shoes while squatting or deadlifting.


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