Super Feet- Which one to choose? and a few more questions

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Boricua, May 9, 2012.

  1. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    I am considering Superfeet insoles. I have flat feet and want extra comfort. Which color should I use?

    Would I feel the comfort of the Superfeet insole in a shoe like the Gel Resolution which is already comfortable?

    When does one know that the Superfeet insole is ready to be changed?
     
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  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The green top came off mine very quickly. I'm not that impressed overall with the greens and don't use them for tennis anymore.
     
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  3. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Do you just use the original tennis shoe insole now?
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you want comfort, orange.
    If you only want support for flat feet, green.
    But I think real arch supports, or orthodics, specially made to raise your arch, would be better for players suffering from flat feet.
     
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  5. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    I play with the yonex shoe, which has a great insole. (wraps up & around heel)

    The exorbitant costs of superfeet discourages me from trying them.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Easy one here....
    If you feet don't hurt, don't bother with special inserts.
    If you can't play 2 days in a row because of hurting arches or ankles, do something about it.
     
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  7. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I just use the Dr. Scholls's sports insole. It is 10 bucks and much better than the stock insoles my New Balance shoes come with.
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OP asked for specific arch support, not comfort insole.
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The only time the word "arch" has been used in this thread have been in your posts. Oh drat, now the word is in one of my posts!
     
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  10. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    If Im not experiencing chronic foot problems, is there any reason to use Superfeet?
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Some "in the know" people know that flat feet means a need for .....ARCH support!:):)
     
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  12. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I've been using the same insoles as well lately. Very comfortable! :)

    -Fuji
     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I recently recommended them to a regular opponent of mine and he is enjoying them as well.
     
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  14. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    The vast majority of those with flat feet can have their flat feet "corrected" by the arch support in insoles or othotics pushing the sole of the foot back up into proper position.

    [​IMG]


    Flat feet lead to over pronation - the foot "turns in" too much as you walk and run.

    [​IMG]

    This not only puts excess stress on the foot and ankle as you can see in the above illustration, but the excess "turning in"at the ankle causes the whole lower leg to bow in, putting more stress on the knee:

    [​IMG]

    And since the knee bows in, that creates an abnormal swiveling motion at the hip, leading to a pelvic tilt and the onset of hip and back pain.

    [​IMG]


    So don't wait until your foot, ankle, leg, hip and back are bothering you.

    Get good inserts with arch support and correct the problem now.


    Personally, I like the Superfeet Orange because I am constantly split stepping and bouncing on the balls of my feet, so want that little bit of cushioning that the Green does't provide. (I also have been using Gel Resolutions for years.)


    The Dr. Scholl's Sports Insole has a soft insole support that isn't optimal for most with flat feet.

    Some need to see a podiatrist and get custom orthotics. Short of this, in many pharmacies are Dr. Scholl's kiosks where a you just stand on a pressure plate, and the software computes which of 14 Dr. Scholl's "custom orthotics" you should purchase. http://www.footmapping.com/footmapping/home/index.jspa


    References:
    Flat Feet http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7120,s6-241-624--414-0,00.html
    Pronation, Explained http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-319-327-7727-0,00.html
    The Most Common Mechanical Disadvantage Seen in Runners is...
    You guessed it – OVERPRONATION! http://thisspineofmine.blogspot.com/2012/02/most-common-mechanical-disadvantage.html
     
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  15. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    My perspective on flat feet is different than Charlie's. What he laid out is absolutely the conventional wisdom on this. And in my opinion, it's a really bad idea, at least when viewed as a long term "solution".

    All the issues his post identified as being attributable to flat feet are absolutely correct. The question is, why is the foot flat? In both my professional opinion and clinical experience, in the vast majority of cases, it's not a structural problem with the foot and is instead a muscular problem. The muscles in the kinetic chain that link into the foot are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, the foot musculature loses tone, and the bones of the feet then lose positional integrity.

    It is rare for me to have a client with 'flat feet' who is not able to restore their arches through corrective exercise.

    Frankly, I can't stand orthotics. What they do is 'crutch' the foot back into its normal position. But now the musculature in the foot that was doing very little to begin with to create positional stability now has to do even less. The foot grows even weaker, and now other problems ensue. I've lost track of how many clients I've had who said "i had foot or knee pain, got orthotics and I felt way better for a period of time, but then my ___(fill in the blank) started hurting. That's because the orthotic is now shimming you up into a position the rest of your kinetic chain doesn't have the integrity to hold. That's not a good thing.

    I've no problem using something like Superfeet for a high-torsion activity like tennis, but in general, the less shoe you wear, the better. If you have flat feet, yes, do something about it, but orthotics is not the answer, and will actually make the problem worse in the long run.
     
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  16. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    As to which came first, chicken or egg can be argued for a long time.

    What can't be argued is the wisdom of recognizing that building up leg and foot strength to correct any weaknesses would absolutely be a great idea.


    While specific exercise regimens for fallen arches exist:
    EXERCISES FOR FALLEN ARCHES & FLAT FEET http://www.livestrong.com/article/255426-exercises-for-fallen-arches-flatfeet/

    It is still a good idea for tennis players to do squats and lunges in any event, and for those with flat feet it should strengthen muscle weaknesses that may have worsened as the flat feet worsened (or vise versa).
     
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  17. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    Charlie.....completely agree.

    Just making the point that from my perspective, 99% of the orthotics being used are not just completely unnecessary, they are destructive and serve to imbalance and weaken the body.
     
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  18. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    You are undoubtedly right that most just slap the orthotics in an never do any exercise.
     
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  19. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    So, why would Superfeet help? I dont have chronic heel pain, maybe some ache in a very irregular basis, almost nonexistent. Will Superfeet prevent an increase in the heel pain or help prevent knee or back pain associated with having flat feet?

    Would you use Superfeet only for tennis or running and not for regular day use?

    Thanks.
     
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  20. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    Boricua...i actually am testing out Superfeet Orange right now.

    To give you perspective, I believe that in daily use, the less shoe you wear, the better. We're designed to be barefooted. Because of my profession I can wear about any shoe I wish during a normal workday. I alternate between New Balance Minimus, Inov-8, and Vibram FiveFingers. I want my foot and ankle complex doing its own stabilization work.

    But tennis is a different beast. It's a high-torsion activity with very high "moments of load". It's much different than regular running, for example. I'll run in Vibrams, but no way I'd play tennis in 'em. When going for a run, or doing sprint work, I'm not sprinting and then stopping on a dime, or planting, twisting and pushing off. All of those things will create intrinsic instability in the kinetic chain, and I'm testing to see if something like the superfeet can help assist in both creating a bit more cushioning, as well as keeping torsion down to as minimal a level as possible.

    What stresses articular cartilage the most in aging knees isn't impact, it's torsion-style impact where you plant, twist and push off. I don't want my foot sliding around during such a move, that simply adds stress to the knee capsule, so I'm looking for ways to keep the foot as stable as possible during those movements.

    But again, that's for tennis only for me. The rest of the time, I'm in minimalist shoes as much as possible.

    Let me know if instead of clarifying I just confused.
     
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  21. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    I'll also add this. When I work with clients with orthotics, I never tell them to take them out. But what invariably happens is that as posture improves, they'll get to a point where they feel more comfortable without them than with them. That's because the postural imbalance that created the perceived "need" for them initially is no longer present, and the orthotic is now designed for a foot structure that no longer exists.

    It's fun to see people 'get it', for the light bulb to come on. They get ticked off they paid $300 for things that didn't help them and may have caused problems, but it's gratifying to see them getting that stuff out of their shoes and restoring their feet's ability to be their own orthotic.
     
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  22. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    As you're new to Superfeet, I would recommend starting with the blue, which should feel more comfortable for your flat feet and are versatile. The black are for low volume, slim fitting shoes and light use. I also have flat feet and use the blue. Be aware that these are not cushion-oriented insoles and are focused more on giving your feet proper support. It may take some getting used to the support, so I suggest wearing them for a few hours a day until your feet adjust. Once I was used to the support, I found that my shoes were more comfortable because I was well supported rather than having a super cushioned feel.

    This is the opinion of Tiffany from Tennis Warehouse. Do you agree in terms of the blue being a better choice for flat feet?
     
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  23. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Would the back and neck be also affected as well as the knees? I experience pain after playing tennis but I use wiper type strokes, Nadal like, which is not the best for the back I suuppose. In any case, would stabilizing the foot with Superfeet help prevent back and neck pain?
    I suppose its kind of a chain.
    Of topic, what do you think of quiropractic help?
     
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  24. akamc

    akamc New User

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    Go to the Superfeet web page, they explain the differences pretty well in their User Guide FAQ. They do make many varieties (including custom ones if you don' t mind the cost).

    In my experience:
    - Black: thinnest, lightest, lowest arch and volume, best for dress shoes or soccer cleats
    - Blue: a little thicker, medium arch and volume, probably a good conservative choice to try first if you are unsure
    - Green: still thicker, with a pronounced high arch and high volume
    - Orange (Berry for women): like the Green, but with an extra layer of closed cell foam padding under the forefoot, which is nice if that's your problem area, but it takes up some toe room.

    I have tried a number of insoles, and for me the Superfeet ones are among the better suited for tennis for 3 reasons:
    - They do not significantly raise your overall stance, because your heel sits in a cup. This is important for stability if you are prone to rolling your ankles. Many of the more "cushiony" insoles raise your heels above the original shoe design height.
    - The partial bottom hard plastic shell provides stability and support. This can improve some shoes which are too flexible in the midfoot area (which could promote plantar fasciitis - you really want your shoe to flex mostly at the toe joint)
    - They are full length, which fixes their location inside the shoe. For example, 3/4 insoles such as the Scholl's semi-custom ones can move when you put your shoes on, or if you make sharp movements.

    In any case, they are generally better than the standard insoles of almost any tennis shoes, but it does come at a price.

    I agree with Posture Guy that orthotics are quite helpful in high impact/torsion sports like tennis but otherwise may become somewhat of a crutch in everyday use, unless you have to be on your feet many hours per day.
     
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  25. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    But, if I have flat feet, is orange recommended. According to its description no, am I incorrect?

    I suppose the blue is the best for people who play tennis and have flat feet, correct?
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I have flat feet that got me out of the Army, after 13 months in, despite a 8 year enlistment. FLAT.
    Green is slightly TOO LOW. Orange is only padding. Blue waaay to low.
    My footprint getting out of the shower is full, no arch whatsoever. I cannot balance on one foot.
     
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  27. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    So none are good? I think I have your same flat feet.:)
     
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  28. akamc

    akamc New User

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    Usually, if you have truly flat feet, an orthotic with an overly high and stiff arch might be very uncomfortable or might even "bow out" your gait (not good for your ankles or knees).

    LeeD, you always seem to lean towards the side that "more extreme is better" in all aspects of your life! Off-topic by the way, but did you see the video of Garrett McNamara's riding out the biggest wave on record (78 ft) at Praia do Norte?

    If you are just looking for comfort and cushioning and nothing else, just get plain gel or sorbothane insoles. Spencos are OK too.
     
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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Actually, I tried the lower arch supports to little avail. Greens are not high, for someone using orthodics for 10 years. PerfMax's aren't nearly high. Real arch supports DO hurt and rub, taking time to acclimate.
    They started to show Garrett's ride on news, channel 20, but instead, refocused on that guy shooting out the window on the 4th floor apartement at Post & Hyde, SanFrancisco.
     
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  30. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    Boricua....i can't make any Superfeet recommendations, not familiar enough with their product line. I read the description posted above, chose Orange, seems ok.

    Re your question on chiropractic, I think in the hands of a good practitioner it's a very useful modality, but if you're not working on correcting the muscular imbalances causing your bones to be out of position, it's palliative at best. The chiropractor can adjust you back into position, but bones go where muscles tell them to go. If a muscle is programmed to pull a bone into a less than optimal position, you can manipulate it back, but your body will return it in short order. That's why most people feel like chiropractic helps for a limited period of time and they're right back where they started.

    But if you combine chiropractic with postural correction, you can get some very cool results. And it makes the chiropractor's work a lot easier. Adjustments are easier to get, and they hold.

    Re your question about neck, head and back, absolutely. The body works as a unit.

    Here's something you can do to see what I'm talking about with respect to orthotics. Let's say you pronate (foot rolls onto its inside edge, with the arch flattening). Go ahead and stand up in shorts and take your right foot and roll it onto the inside edge. Now, watch your shin and your knee cap when you roll your foot back into a neutral position. What did you just see happen?

    What you saw was the entire leg rotated from the hip joint. It was not just the foot tilting. And when the femur rotates, that has a repositioning effect on the pelvis, and once THAT happens, now the spine is repositioned.

    It all works as a chain.
     
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  31. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Most people with flat feet can wear the Superfeet Orange or Green.

    That is because their flat feet can easily be pushed up by the arch support in the Superfeet, thereby having the correct amount of arch in their foot.

    [​IMG]


    Basically the Superfeet Orange and Green are very, very similar. They have the same arch support and heel cup for absorbing force at heel. The only difference is that the Superfeet Orange have a thin pad under the forefoot.

    [​IMG]

    [Long distance runners don't land on their forefeet, so most do just fine with Superfeet Green.]


    As a tennis player who is constantly split stepping and bouncing around on my forefeet with my heels off the ground, I want the extra forefoot padding available in the Superfeet Orange.

    If I had flat feet, I would wear the Superfeet Orange to play tennis.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
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  32. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    charlie.....good explanation on orange vs green. I got orange on your recommendations on other threads. Seem like a good product.

    One correction, though. Many distance runners absolutely DO land on their forefoot. In fact, prior to the advent of the Nike waffle sole, most distance runners were forefoot runners. Emil Zatopek, one of the greatest distance runners in the history of the sport, was a forefoot runner. Here's a nice video showing his technique:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdYHCSAMDr4

    Many, including me, would advocate that we are not designed to run with heel striking. Go out and run barefoot and notice how you run. Do you heel strike? Most likely, no.

    The book "Born To Run" has some fascinating information and discussions on this topic.
     
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  33. jk816

    jk816 Rookie

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    I’ve always looked at the arch circumstances from an engineer’s perspective. It looks to me as though the foot arch is much like a suspension bridge’s arch, supported by cables (tendons) from above. Downward pressure shortens/ tightens the arch and the cables above add support. In the case of many structural arches, pressure from below can disrupt or weaken it, as can any of the supports above either stretching or breaking.

    With the foot, the arch is really supported by the various tibial tendons from above and reinforced below by the plantar fascia. Theoretically it would seem that any arch support that pushes upward in the center of the arch, filling it, would weaken the structure, essentially requiring the support to replace the arch, which is not a good thing long term. The better course is fixing the “cables” by strengthening the supporting tendons and their muscles to correct physical attributes. Of course that means rehab, not playing.
    And if you are in pain, a comfy fix is attractive.

    Many insoles, including custom orthotics, can be “comfy”; whether they help you long term or just provide the perfect crutch is the question.

    I currently use the superfeet (orange for tennis, blue for general sport use) not for arch support, but for pronation impedance (past problems with posterior tibial tendinapathy). The arch effect with the superfeet doesn’t really fill your whole arch, but is oriented toward the rear of your arch, which seems more inclined to resist pronation but not affecting much of the rest of the arch. How much benefit I get is unknown, but my posterior tibs are happier these days.

    For your color of superfeet, a main issue might be how much available volume do you have in your shoe (after the stock insole is out)? Orange takes up the most volume but provide the most padding along the entire sole. Green or blue take up less space. Black is the least, but does not run full sole.
     
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  34. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    I wasn't advocating heel to toe running.

    I was just pointing out that the Superfoot Green seems to be the most popular of the Superfoot models for long distance running.

    Indeed, it is a pity that so many run for "their health", yet their running technique of heel landing greatly increases the shock incurred at heel strike, and inadvertently leads to a host of running related overuse injuries.

    Principles of Natural Running with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSIDRHUWlVo&feature=related
    Pose running technique training (before and after) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN1x3Ik1t5Y&feature=related
    The Biomechanics of Running http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WibWjSEw-F4&feature=related


    Posture Guy, heel strike running is the ultimate in lazy posture. It is just letting your body lay back as far you can and not fall over backwards.


    An observation: HIIT training may get some off their heels. Accelerating from the start involves ball of foot touchdown as the upper body is out over the legs, then the body is balanced over the legs with a slight lean forward for the remainder of the sprint distance.


    For recreational tennis players, what's also sad is that some seem to have that laid back posture on the tennis courts, and wonder why they don't ever seem to get to balls that others get to.
     
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  35. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    jk816....great post.

    charlie....sorry I misunderstood that comment, my bad.
     
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  36. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    I've used blue and green in my tennis shoes. Green was my preference, but more recent tennis shoes I've had have forced me to switch to blue as the green make the shoe too tight in the upper (in the laces area, whatever the technical term for that may be :)). I've never felt that there was a lack of padding - I've always felt that should come from the sole of the shoe rather than insole anyway.

    Interestingly, the one cushioned insole I tried were the 'Sole' Ultras, the ones you warm in the oven and mould. They were super-comfy when walking about, but as soon as I started running it was like I was slapping my feet against concrete.
     
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  37. Eightmarky

    Eightmarky Rookie

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    I have a friend that is doing this exact thing and he is on this board. I told him he is nuts but he is enjoying playing in the five fingers.
     
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  38. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    how good is he? I could see playing doubles in them at a 3.5 level. Singles at a 4.5 level? No way.

    One of the "best" ways to chew up your articular cartilage is through load bearing torsion, put your body weight on the leg, rotate the leg, then push off. If the knee is mispositioned posturally, as most people's are, that increases the dysfunctional load. Then add an intrinsically unstable show like the Vibrams and now it's even moreso.

    I LOVE the Vibrams, but I don't want my feet slipping around at ALL when I play tennis.
     
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  39. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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