Current Pedorthics March-April 2016 | Vol.48, Issue 2 - Page 24

How an Epidemic of Equinus Created a Successful Retail Pedorthic Business In 2010, I met Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run. It was his signature book about the Tarahumara Indian tribe of distance runners in Mexico that started the barefoot/minimal running craze. That year I had the opportunity to speak with Micah True. Micah was the character known as “El Cabello Blanco” in McDougall’s book who befriended the Tarahumara and was responsible for bringing them to the attention of the running world¹. While the book is credited with promoting barefoot and minimally shod running, my takeaway was quite different. McDougall blames Nike® for the dramatic rise in injuries since the introduction of the modern running shoe which was designed to facilitate a heel-strike running style¹. The shoes were created with an elevated heel which was supposed to provide additional shock absorption for the calcaneus. No sooner did they elevate the heel of the shoe than there was a sudden rise in rotational injuries like shin splints, IT Band, and hip pain. The running shoe industry response was to make “motion control” shoes, since the obvious cause was that 70% of the population overpronates. I don't agree. I believe that to a large extent, the cause of the overpronation is the elevated heel causing a premature heel strike that crashes the forefoot to the ground in a lever arm effect. It was armed with this knowledge, that I discovered a running shoe brand that did not have an elevated heel, but was not flimsy or minimal footwear. I decided to try trail running and hiking in their shoes. Since there were no dealers in our market area, I ordered eight pairs and put seven of them into stock. As I began to have my patients try this new radical, “zero drop” shoe I kept getting the same reaction, “Wow!” Patients started buying the shoes for wellness and got better quickly—some "McDougall blames Nike® for the dramatic rise in injuries since the introduction of the modern running shoe which was designed to facilitate a heel-strike running style." 22 Pedorthic Footcare Association www.pedorthics.org