Ditch the High Heeled Running Shoes

Ditch the High Heeled Running Shoes

This is an extremely controversial topic!

Just like many things in our country, the more marketing money behind something, the more you think you need it.

This is definitely the case with running shoes.

Nike, Hoka and many of the most popular brands have runners believing they need the most expensive shoe, with the most cushion to prevent injury.

But is that really true? I’m going to say a big NO!

Our body was designed to be able to run naturally, from the lion or the dinosaur with NO shoes. Why NOW do we need 4 inch cushions under our feet. I understand you need a shoe to protect your feet from the surface of the ground but it’s important for your body’s biomechanics to actually feel the ground as you run. 

Most running shoes have elevated heels and toe boxes, which then puts all the pressure and impact on the ball of the foot where it’s not meant to be.

How do I know this? 

Go test it for yourself.

Run barefoot on the grass and see how you land naturally and that is how you should be landing all the time, on your mid foot, to help absorb the shock of impact with your toes splaying out and your arch flattening.

If you have an orthotic or a shoe that blocks this natural motion, where does the shock get absorbed?

Further up the chain in your leg from you ankles, knees, hips, back and neck.

This is partially to blame for so many running injuries. When you cannot feel the ground with your feet, you can have terrible technique and not feel it because of all this cushion.

Also think about the instability of being so high off the ground and trying to balance.

Running is essentially one leg balance over and over again.

Try to balance on one foot in the 4 inch cushion shoe for 30 seconds. Then do it again barefoot.

Barefoot is much easier because there are natural mechanoreceptors in your foot that can feel the ground and help your body stabilize itself. 

Shoes Matter!

I found out the hard way after 8 years of being stuck in the wrong shoes, and orthotics.

I was running longer and longer and getting more and more pain and injured.

I started having major hip pain and bursitis first, then IT band syndrome and finally plantar faciitis.

Several cortisone injections and heavy, stiff motion control shoes later- I decided to get out of the medical model and do some research.

I found Jay Dicchary’s Book Runner’s Anatomy, and my journey to healing began.

I got rid of my orthotics, motion control shoes and have never had a cortisone shot again. 

I started getting STRONG from my toes and feet to my head, walking barefoot when it was safe to do so, running in natural zero drop running shoes.

I also love the Foot Collective on Instagram and the Melt Method to help bring awareness to foot strength and mobility. 

Here, my mentor, Paul Check discusses more about the importance of training in shoes that allow you to feel the ground.

Are you training for the Miami Marathon or another upcoming running race?



Erinne Guthrie is a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach since 1999 and Chief Motivating Officer at Full Circle Coaching, LLC since 2010. Creator of the 16 week Triathlon Transformation. She has been training, racing and coaching triathletes since 1997.  She is also a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, USMS Master’s Swim Coach, Motivational Speaker, Metabolic Efficiency Specialist, Mom, Mermaid and much much more.


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