Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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DOR Podcast #89: Flexible vs. Rigid Forefoots, with Kofuzi!

Matt and DJ are joined by a very special guest, Michael Ko (aka Kofuzi)! Kofuzi tells us about his background and the growth of his YouTube channel. They take a look at his journey to 100,000 subscribers and what's next for his channel. Finally, they investigate the effects of a flexible or rigid forefoot - the biomechanics implications and what type of runner may want each kind of shoe.

Listen to This Week's Podcast Here!

Direct Links: Apple | Spotify | Anchor

Today’s episode is sponsored by Running Warehouse! Right now there are Memorial Day promotions going on with discounts on many types of products through the end of May. Make sure you check it out. Also, coming soon, Running Warehouse will have the ASICS METASPEED SKY+ and EDGE+ in stock on June 1. We will be testing and putting out full reviews on these models soon! 

Find their Memorial Day Deals here.


0:00 - Intro
1:29 - The Subjective: Do you prefer a flexible or rigid forefoot? Why, and for what purposes?
1:42 - Introducing Kofuzi
9:32 - The significance of 100K YouTube subscribers
19:53 - The state of running culture & media coverage
31:05 - Kofuzi's goals and vision for his channel
40:42 - The basics of the forefoot of shoes
44:51 - How shoe design impacts forefoot flexibility or rigidity
47:13 - The impact of plates on forefoot rigidity
51:08 - The benefits of a flexible or rigid forefoot
1:06:51 - Midsole nostalgia: adapting to midsole changes over time
1:13:17 - Wrap-up

Science Blog:
Why on earth would I want to stop training in plated shoes?
By Andrea Myers

They [plated shoes] improve running economy and reduce stress on the ankle and 1st MTP joints. Anecdotally, many runners feel that they reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and improve recovery between workouts. They made my legs and feet feel better on easy days when I was in the middle of marathon training and are just fun to run in.  The main reason I stopped training fully in plated shoes is that I noticed that the plate and rocker design were covering up a bad biomechanical habit of pushing off with the lateral aspect of my left forefoot. I was starting to have some medial ankle pain during and after training in a plated shoe (due to overactivity of my posterior tibialis) and wanted to nip the problem in the bud. With an eye towards longevity in the sport, I decided to get back to basics and work on my foot strength and biomechanics.  I knew I wanted a flexible shoe with 6mm or less drop, a wider toe box, and a responsive midsole. The Cyclone ended up being a great choice and, as an added bonus, gave me confidence that my training paces weren’t artificially inflated by the use of a plated shoe. After a few weeks of zero running in plated shoes, my medial ankle pain went away and I no longer tended towards pushing off too far laterally. I continue to race in plated shoes and really enjoy the rocket feeling of putting on my Vaporfly Next% or Endorphin Pro 2’s on race day. Plates and rockers are great tools, but the body responds to specific training conditions, and I felt the plate was reducing the work required of my 1st MTP joint and foot intrinsics. Running shoes with a flexible forefoot make pushing off at the lateral forefoot uncomfortable and unnatural, but shoes with a plate and rocker act as a crutch and cover up sloppy biomechanics.  

Recent Episodes

 #88: The Value of Full Body Running Evaluations
#87: Does Every Shoe Need a Plate? Midsole Trends Today
#86: Stability vs. Support with Brooks Running
#85: All About Trail Shoes
#84: The Truth About Midsoles, Part 2
#83: The Truth about Midsoles, Part 1

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