Fingers and Toes | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Fingers and Toes

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In the running world, a seemingly endless debate rages--what shoes will maximize your running potential? One camp swears by minimalist running shoes, characterized by being lightweight and having a super thin sole--Vibram Five Finger shoes with the separated toes are the most recognizable minimalist shoes, although many manufacturers make them with a more traditional enclosed toe box. On the other side of the debate are those that argue that runners need more support from 
their footwear.

Whatever your running shoe preference, the most important thing is to learn how to correct your stride to work with your body type, shoes and running experience. For many, that means moving from a heel-first strike pattern to a ball- or toe-first strike pattern, called "forefoot" running. In his famous book "Born to Run" (Knopf Doubleday, 2011, $15.95), Christopher McDougall chronicles his journey to relearn how to run while pursuing the question, "Why does my foot hurt?"

Before jumping in to forefoot running or minimalist shoes, it's vital to learn the correct methods. Ask an expert at your local athletic shop, such as Fleet Feet Sports (500 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-899-9696) or StinkyFeet Athletics (153 Ridgeway, Suite C, Flowood, 601-992-1439).

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