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Minimalist Running

Learn how Wyatt and Dad Shoe Repair Specialists can convert your traditional running shoes into minimalist running shoes.

Why a minimalist shoe?

Traditional running shoe companies have been trying to come up with a better way to make their shoes more comfortable and reduce the number of foot related injuries for their customers. They have changed materials, added stabilizers to the outsides of the shoes, made the outside bases of the shoes wider and the list goes on. And yet, the injury rate has increased. Studies have discovered that the elevated heel in conjunction with too much cushioning may be the source of these injuries.

There are cultures in Africa, Central and South America that run without these modern cushions and other technologies made by the traditional shoe companies. Their average footwear is a plain sandal. No cushioning, arch or heel supports. It is made to protect the foot from sharp rocks, roots, briars, glass and the likes. It allows the wearer to maneuver through rough terrain without cuts and abrasions, but gives them the same benefit of exercising the foot muscles as going barefoot. These cultures have an almost non-existent foot related injury rate.

 Minimalist shoes are designed to perform that same function. They are made of lightweight materials with little to no cushioning on the bottom, in conjunction with thin rubber soles to allow the foot to flex and bend over the terrain as if we were barefoot. Some even call their shoe the “barefoot” shoe. The minimalist shoe claims to have all the benefits of going barefoot, exercising our feet as these other cultures have proven it to be beneficial to the health of our feet.

Some experts state that Minimalist shoes train us how to keep our gait in proper form. If, while wearing minimalist shoes, we get our gait out of proper form we will feel the effects of it immediately and can adjust our gait to correct ourselves. This not only helps our feet, but the rest of our body benefits as well. We have natural shock absorbers built into our skeletal system. By using our skeletal system properly, our knees, hips and backs suffer less and, therefore, our whole body will feel better.

So…why not minimalist shoes?

 According to the Us Department of Public Health – “87% of all people in the US have a foot related problem.”

People in our culture didn’t grow up in minimalist shoes or going barefoot all the time as other cultures did. Even those of us that did go barefoot most of the time as we were growing up, wore regular shoes more than we remember, or spent most of our barefoot time on groomed terrain. We live in a society with hard flat floors, concrete sidewalks, paved roads and even most of the trails we walk, jog or run on are groomed park trails that, for the most part, are flat. Our yards are landscaped as flat as possible so we can ride or walk our lawn mowers over them. So, even the barefoot crowd in our culture hasn’t exercised the muscles in their feet as these other cultures have.

To just switch over to wearing the typical minimalist shoe could be devastating for most people in our culture. Our feet haven’t been exercised properly for the majority of our lives and a change that radical could cause serious injury to the wearer. Another problem with making the change is that we will still be exercising on the same flat surfaces mentioned previously. Also, people that already have foot related problem can cause those problems to get worse by wearing minimalist shoes without a proper arch support system to help train the foot during the transition process.

 What if I don’t have a foot problem?

Remember, according to the Us Department of Public Health – “87% of all people in the US have a foot related problem.” This means that, even if there is no evidence of a direct foot problem, we could have a problem in our body that is foot related. Our skeletal system is affected in many ways by how well our feet (our foundation) perform. So, when we discuss foot related problems, we are not referring just to the feet.

 What about running barefoot (the all natural way)?

Growing up barefoot on natural terrain is the best way to go. But, since people in the US, Europe and the rest of the civilized world did not grow up in the jungles, they will not be running or walking in that environment and therefore never leave flat, smooth or perhaps just groomed surfaces. These (unnatural) surfaces do not challenge our muscles, tendons and/or proprioceptor nerves.  We still have to take into consideration the fact that 87% of people in the US have foot related problems and the majority of the other 13% grew up walking in shoes and/or on groomed surfaces. When running barefoot and/or in a standard minimalist shoe on these groomed surfaces we are not engaging all of the proprioceptor nerves necessary to cause the foot to strengthen and function properly to overcome these foot related problems. Even though the foot was designed with all we need to be our natural shock absorbers, by wearing the types of shoes we wear without a proper training system and walking on these flat surfaces we have trained the muscles and tendons in our feet to do a job other than their natural job. To just switch over and force our feet to do a job they are not in shape for could cause serious injury.

What about putting custom orthotics in minimalist shoes?

Studies have shown that Custom Orthotics and Off the Shelf Orthotics have the same success rate. Although Custom Orthotics are necessary in some cases, for most of us they just cost a lot more. Also, most Custom Orthotics are based on correcting foot motion in conventional shoes that have elevated heels. For a custom orthotic to work properly in minimalists shoes, you would need to have them designed specifically for minimalist shoes.

What then is our solution?

”Every year, anywhere from 65%-80% of all runners suffer an injury” Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Wyfield Inc. has developed a system to add to your shoes that has taken all these things into consideration and added the missing ingredients for the transformation and continuation of healthy running and walking in our society.

The owners of Wyfield Inc. Ricky Wyatt, multiple marathon, ½ marathon runner and tri-athlete, Tony Wyatt, multiple ½ marathon runner, hiker, mountain biker and snowboarder and Paul Mansfield, active walker and weight lifter, have developed a 9 month plan to healthy feet incorporating Foot Control and Support Systems into shoes that has enabled them to run hundreds of miles and participate in various sports activities for the past 16 years injury free. Ricky, Tony and Paul have also helped thousands of people with foot related ailments such as plantar fasciitis, knee pain, lower back pain, hip pain, neuroma pain, shin splints and more over the past 26 years.

Foot Control and Support Systems are designed and engineered with a system that has a deep heel cup (23mm) to normalize the rotation of the calcaneus (heel bone) and supports for the 3 arches of the foot to prevent over pronation or supination while going through the gait cycle. Foot Control and Support Systems added to shoes with lightweight materials with little to no cushioning on the bottom, in conjunction with thin rubber soles to allow the foot to flex and bend over the terrain as if we were barefoot is the best way to make your feet healthier. Foot Control and Support Systems technology is designed to be a mirror image of the arch contours in the foot. This ensures proper support and an even distribution of weight and helps make the muscles in the foot stronger. The stronger the muscles in the feet are the less fatigue and stress the foot and body feels.

*Deep Heel Cup: The heel of your foot was designed with natural “padding” that absorbs shock when you walk or run. The heel cup counter area is designed with a rounded shape to ensure your “padding” rests under the calcaneus where it benefits the body the most, instead of spreading out from under the calcaneus.   The heel cup is also designed with deep side walls to limit the calcaneal inversion or eversion. This gives the arches a stronger foundation and decreases the amount of support necessary for a proper stance and gait.

*Arch Support x3: The metatarsal (or Transverse arch) support is designed to relieve pain and fatigue in the ball of the foot area. This also improves posture and balance to help increase overall health. The medial and lateral longitudinal arch supports give the proper amount of support, which aids in reducing fatigue. The medial and lateral longitudinal arch supports work together to provide side to side stability and improve overall balance and posture.  These features added together give you a superior combination of control, support and comfort.

Foot Control and Support Systems technology “Medial/lateral counter foot stabilizer” is designed to support the medial and lateral longitudinal arches, as well as the transverse metatarsal arch, giving total support to the feet as well as controlling the motion of the calcaneus. This combination of control and support keeps the foot in its most neutral position throughout the gait cycle and while standing, allowing the rest of the skeletal system that relies on the feet for proper alignment to remain in its most neutral position, thus preventing and correcting problems caused by overpronation or supination, and aiding in prevention of foot related injuries. 

These features added together give you a superior combination of control, support and comfort allowing the wearer to transform from the traditional shoe running to minimalist shoe running without increasing risk of serious injury.

How does Foot Control and Support Systems make the muscles in the feet stronger?

Because of the patented design of Foot Control and Support Systems technology, Foot Control and Support Systems are able to exercise the muscles in the foot by allowing the foot to go through its natural gait cycle while training the foot for the proper amount of pronation and/or supination without allowing excessive over pronation and/or supination. Foot Control and Support Systems technology is created to be a mirror image of the plantar surface of the foot. That mirror image gives the wearer the proper shaped surface to walk on. By creating the properly shaped surface inside the shoe, the foot is now distributing 80% of our weight on the muscles and the 3 arches of the foot, as opposed to the majority of our weight being placed on the calcaneus (heel bone) and the metatarsal heads (ball of the foot). As the foot goes through its gait cycle, the contours of Foot Control and Support Systems technology engage the foot’s proprioceptor nerves, causing the proper muscles to fire. This causes the wearer to exercise the muscles, tendons and stabilizers in the foot to train it to function properly, strengthening them over time.

What about when I am not in my running shoes?

Because people in our society continues to run, walk, work and wear other styles of shoes on these flat surfaces, Foot Control and Support Systems technology is the best solution for all our footwear to keep our feet healthy throughout our entire lives. That is why Foot Control and Support Systems has developed our technology so that it can be enjoyed in most of your footwear. In addition to your favorite sports shoes, Foot Control and Support Systems orthotics can be added to most work, dress and casual shoes/boots. That means you can continue to exercise your feet and keep your body healthy as you live your life.

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