Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Feet Need to be Happy

As with most of us if your feet are not happy then most likely the rest of you is not happy. I have had problems with my feet for most of my adult life.  I have a condition called Hallux rigidus which is a disorder of the joint located at the base of the big toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the big toe, and with time it gets increasingly harder to bend the toe. "Hallux" refers to the big toe, while "rigidus" indicates that the toe is rigid and cannot move or flex very much.  I have seen several Podiatrist over the years but only one has provided the best solutions for me and my multi-sport activities. 
Dr Neil Feldman of Central Massachusetts Podiatry, an accomplished marathoner, Ironman triathlete, and an honorable mention all-american triathlete has prescribed the right solutions for me to allow me to continue to train and compete.  Most recently he convinced me to try the Zero Drop approach to running shoes.  “zero drop” or sometimes called “zero differential” refers to the difference in height between the heel and the ball of the foot.  I have been running in this shoe from Altra

Dr Feldman further convinced me to go all Zero Drop all the time and I started wearing the VivoBarefoot Ra dress shoes  and I have not looked back since.  My feet have felt great and even my back had less aches and pains.    One of the benefits of these type shoes is a foot-shaped toe box follows the shape of a healthy foot for more comfort, balance and efficiency.
So where am I going with all of this? I knew that during my "Epic Ride Across America" I would be in my cycling shoes 8-10 hours a day for 33 days.  I wanted to find a pair of cycling shoes that had the same features and provide me with great comfort.    I found them!  The Bont Vaypor XC .  I have been breaking them in and they feel great.  The other feature is Bont cycling shoes are heat moldable  for a custom fit. 
Anatomical Forefoot Shape

Conventional cycling shoes offer a “dress shoe” type shaping. Although highly aesthetic this will cause the toes along with the metatarsals to be overly constricted, compressing the nerves between the metatarsals which often results in the common "hot foot" sensation.

Bont cycling shoes anatomical shaping allows the foot to function in its most efficient and anatomically correct position. The foot is supported in its endeavour to relax through the metatarsal joints allowing the pedalling force to be spread across the greatest possible surface area.

Medial Longitudinal Arch Support

Structural medial longitudinal arch support is provided in all models to stop over pronation of feet.
Over pronation is one of the main contributors to incorrect tracking of knees during a cyclists pedaling phase due to internal rotation of tibia and femur. This can result in knee injuries.
In addition, the rotation of tibia/femur can cause the pelvis to tilt resulting in lower back strain.
Anatomical Heel Cup 

The anatomical heel cup shaping of Bont cycling shoes provides increased stability during the pull through stage of pedaling stroke and up stroke. This stabilization is achieved without any mechanical operation or over tightening of straps/laces allowing for increased comfort and blood circulation.

Lateral Forefoot Support
Bont’s lateral forefoot support ensures neutral positioning of the forefoot and alleviates common issues associated with over pronation and supination. These issues often result in incorrect tracking of knees causing injuries along with hip and lower back pain.