"It's gotta be the shoes!" -- Mars Blackmon
Does anyone remember the old Nike commercial where Mars Blackmon (a.k.a. Spike Lee) was asking basketball legend Michael Jordon about how and why he is so good? Blackmon was asking Jordon about everything--from his dunks to his haircut to his long shorts--before finally being convinced that it was his shoes that made all the difference.
While Jordon denied that any of those things actually made a difference, there was no changing Blackmon's mind, and Nike's next great marketing slogan was born. For me personally, Nike (and more specifically, Jordan) created a desire within me to get a pair of Jordan shoes for basketball season. And, guess what? I GOT THEM!
Well...let me rephrase that.
I guess I should say that I had them.
I had a pair of Air Jordan high-tops...until my three older sisters found out. They threw such a fit that their little brother got a pair of $125 shoes just for the basketball season that my parents returned them to the store! If I'm being honest, I believe their frustration stemmed from the fact that I was the only one in the family to get a Big Wheel (a Dukes of Hazzard one, at that) despite their incessant requests for one, so there was no way that I was getting Air Jordan sneakers as well. Truth be told, they are actually still angry (seriously...STILL angry) about that Big Wheel...but I digress...
Yes, at the eleventh hour, my Air Jordans where snatched from my hands. So close...yet so far!
That brings me to today's post about shoes. While I obviously don't believe that Michael Jordan's shoes made him the player that he was, I do believe that shoes make a huge difference in our overall function and ability to move.
When it comes to what you put on your feet, the Egoscue philosophy is simple: less is best. Ideally, we want you (and your foot) to be able to move as functionally as possible, as much as possible. Obviously, we recommend taking movement breaks throughout your day as much as you can. In addition, we are huge fans of getting your body functional before you go and do your regular workouts. But we also want you to stay as functional as possible throughout your workouts (and as you go throughout your day).
How can we accomplish that? There are different ways to do it, including doing your Egoscue menu, but one simple change you can make is to start wearing a shoe that allows as much functional movement as possible at the feet--the functional base of support for the rest of your body.
Your foot is designed to move, and shoes should allow that movement to happen. Shoes that take away from that ability aren't doing you or your body any favors. Sure, there may be a time and a place to wear shoes that don't allow a lot of movement (yes, it's ok to wear high-heels from time to time, ladies), but generally speaking, the less shoe, the better.
As your foot is allowed to move as it's designed, you are creating a functional "domino-effect" of improved and increased movement up the rest of the bodily chain. Basically, if your foot is moving better, so will your ankle, knee, hip, spine, etc. The improved function and mobility doesn't simply stop at the foot. It continues the path up the body, impacting you from toe to head.
"Barefoot shoes"--a term given to shoes that allow for the foot to move as designed--have been around for years now. Dating back to the early 2000s, we have had a plethora of minimalist shoes from which to choose. Nike, New Balance, Fila, Adidas, Merrell, the list goes on an on, have all had minimalist options. There are so many choices now, that the job of finding the "right" one for you can feel like a daunting task.
That's exactly why I wanted to weigh in on this issue. I actually talked about minimalist shoes on a Facebook Live broadcast, and the response was great. Clearly, several of you who tuned in to that video were in the market for minimalist shoes! The feedback and responses I have received from that talk has been incredible. I'm glad I covered this topic!
1. VivoBarefoot -- Choose any style they offer. You can't go wrong with the VivoBarefoot shoes.
3. New Balance Minimus -- These are my favorite running/race shoes. Some of the newer versions are a bit stiffer than the originals, but they are still great shoes.
4. Nike Free -- This is a good introductory shoe for those who are trying to transition to barefoot shoes. I have a pair that I wear currently.
5. Merrell Trail Glove -- Personally, this is my least favorite of the minimalist shoes I have used but some folks rave about them.
QUESTION: What is YOUR favorite pair of barefoot shoes?
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Community: All of us want it. Some of us actually achieve it.
Whether it's through your neighborhood, work, church, or adult kickball team, we're all seeking to tap in, get to know each other better, and dig deeper. But more than that, we're all wanting to build a group of friends who we can laugh with, play with, cry with, and from time-to-time, commiserate with. We want to know that we have folks in our inner-circle who are like-minded, and we strive to surround ourselves with those who have similar interests, dreams, and desires.
One industry that has perfectly mastered building a "community" is CrossFit. Whether you love it, hate it, do it daily, or have never stepped foot in a CrossFit gym in your life, there's no arguing that those folks have done a remarkable job of creating an atmosphere where everyone is cheering everyone else on. Inside a CrossFit gym, you're expected to do your best...whatever that may be.
Another place where you can find community is at Egoscue. Whether it's dropping by your local clinic to do your menu or getting a group of friends together and doing a Patch Fitness workout, we want you to feel as though you're welcome anytime. We want you to have friends there who you look forward to seeing and working out with. Friends who are like-minded and have the same interests, dreams, and desires.
For those of you in the golf community, you might have heard the name Jason Glass. Jason is the founder of the Jason Glass Performance Lab, speaks all over the world with Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), and works one-on-one with some of the top golfers on the PGA Tour. He recently sat down with one of Egoscue's Vice Presidents, Brian Bradley, to talk about The Egoscue Method, The Patch, living pain free, and building community on the Jason Glass Podcast. The interview is excellent and certainly one you don't want to miss!
Click on the picture to listen to the podcast!
QUESTION: How do you build community?
As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well.