Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What To Wear: Shoes

Peter knocks out Onramp #5.  Impressive effort!

What kind of shoes to wear for WODs came up for discussion yesterday.  I thought I'd get it down here in writing.

Short answer:

  • For WODs, skateboarding shoes, specifically 'DC's.  
  • For running only, flat-soled running shoes; Inov8 f-Lite 230s are nice as long as you run properly (i.e. correct Pose technique.)  

Longer answer; why? Two things.

Differential; the difference in height at the heel compared to the ball of the foot.  Flat-soled means no more than a few millimeters differential.  DC's and Inov8s have very small (3mm) differential.    The large differential running shoes with their padded heels encourage heelstrike landing when running and discourage proprioception when lifting.

Proprioception:  The body's sensory system to tell where it is.  Feet are endowed with lots of sensors.  Lots!  With cushy heeled shoes, your foot's contact with the ground is blunted; sensations are muffled.  The proprioceptors try to get a feel for where the ground is.  Through the cushion the ground seems to shift. The body continually tries to steady itself, overworking stabilizing muscles.  More work, less security, less safety.

Flat-soled, thin-soled shoes encourage ball-of-foot landing when running and give good ground feel when lifting.  You'll have to pony up and learn to run properly, though.  Cushy running shoes are designed to compensate and protect against poor running technique. (If they do solve problems for the feet, the problems just travel up the leg - knees, hip, back.)  Run poorly without that protection, ouch!

If you're not ready for Pose-style running yet, bring running shoes in case you get a WOD with running in it.

That's it out of my head.  I've been trying to get the ideas straight in my head; I hope the facts are all there in order.  Begin with skateboarding shoes for WODs.  That will get you started.  I haven't even mentioned weightlifting shoes for those heavy days! Oh, my!




  1. My shoes for CrossFit are Nike 6.0 skateboard shoes. These are quite stable and flat-soled, yet light. Check them out. Plus, colorful!

  2. I have to agree 10,000 percent, love my flat soled shoes for lifting.


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