Believe it or not, what you put on your feet makes a big impact on your life, health, and performance. I’m not talking about toe rings here; I’m referring to the shoes you wear. Unfortunately, the advent of modern shoe technology has actually been very detrimental overall. Running-related injuries have only increased with the further advancement of cushioned heels, Shox springs, and a whole bunch of other useless crap.

The only redeeming quality of the K-Swiss Tubes is that Kenny Powers endorses them.

The problem with these super-cushioned, shock-absorbing, space-age sneakers is that they alter running technique to encourage heel striking, which the rest of your lower body absolutely hates. If you take someone's shoes off and tell them to go for a run, they might start with a few heel strikes, but it won't be long before they adjust and start using the balls of their feet. That's how your feet and body were originally designed to move. Not convinced? Try this: Take off your shoes, jump as high as you can, and land on your heels. Let me know how that works out. Simply put, the balls of your feet are natural shock absorbers, designed to withstand that type of activity.

Asafa Powell doesn't heel strike; Kanye West probably does.

We live in a world of collapsed arches, shin splints, ankle injuries, plantar fasciitis, and knee pain. Modern shoes have altered our running patterns and made our feet weak and deconditioned. Luckily, we're finally getting back to our roots. The advent of Vibram Five Fingers and the Nike Free line has encouraged people to get their feet strong again. So what am I getting at with all of this? Well...

1) Stop buying $120 shoes that suck.
2) Go barefoot more often.
3) Purchase some Vibrams or Chuck Taylors or Nike Free's.
4) Don't be a douche. Wear your Vibrams when you workout, but not with a suit. James Bond would hate Al Roker.
5) Ease into it. Don't go for a 5k run in a new pair of cushion-less kicks. Your feet need to be slowly conditioned and strengthened before that kind of stress.
6) Understand that I will make fun of you if you wear Vibrams. Again, they're a quality product and great for your feet - I just think they look ridiculous. I'm talking to you, Josh Courage!

For more information from people smarter than me, check out the following articles:

EatMoveImprove: Shoes, Sitting, and Lower Body Dysfunctions

Mark's Daily Apple: Flat Feet Treatment

Mark's Daily Apple: Even If The Shoe Fits, Forget It

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