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Wide toe box plus stability shoe?
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Ok, old age is catching up to me, for a continuing calf problem, my doctor is now recommending that I switch to a stability running shoe.

Since I'm a fore foot runner I like a wide toe box, any thoughts on what brand/model shoe would for the bill? I'm partial to Saucony, Merrill and New Balance.

Thanks

Ron W.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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My feet are dang near square. Here is what works for me.


Topo Magnifly/Ultrafly
Altra's have a wide toe box.
Some Asics have nice wide toe-boxes.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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rjsurfer wrote:
Ok, old age is catching up to me, for a continuing calf problem, my doctor is now recommending that I switch to a stability running shoe.

Since I'm a fore foot runner I like a wide toe box, any thoughts on what brand/model shoe would for the bill? I'm partial to Saucony, Merrill and New Balance.

Thanks

Ron W.

I have pretty wide feet and I wear Brooks GTS Adrenalins since 2008 so perhaps those are an option for you.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [Jonathan22] [ In reply to ]
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New Balance shoes (the EE ones) have pretty wide toe boxes. I run in 990s, 993s (both are butt-ugly), and the 1260s. All are damn expensive.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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If you do not need a 2E or 4E the NB 860 & 940 have slightly wider toe boxes.
Saucony Hurricane ISO may fit the bill as well.

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
twitter & IG = @accelerate3
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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I was going to do an edit to my post but thought you may not see it, so here it is:


EDIT I:
Hoka's increase the width of their frames this year. The Arahi and the Gaviota might also be options

EDIT II
Just bc your doc recommended a stability running shoe doesn't mean your doc understands what a stability running shoe does. If I had $10 for every person who came into The Running Shop who said their doc said they needed a stability shoe bc of whatever when they actually did not need a stability shoe, I'd have at least $1k more in the bank. If you pronate you should think about a stability shoe. If you don't pronate then think about sticking with a neutral shoe.

EDIT III:
With forefoot runners we see a lot of them complaining of recurrent calf problems. I think this is due to the increase loading on the gastroc. Even with a high cushioned shoe there is increased loading. There are a couple of studies out there.
Yong, J., Silder, A., & Delp, S. (2014). Differences in Muscle Activity between Natural Forefoot and Rearfoot Strikers during Running Journal of Biomechanics DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.10.015

EDIT IV:
There is also a pretty cool study out there where they took people who were accustomed to heel striking and another group accustomed to forefoot striking. They had them run opposite of their preferred pattern (heel strikers ran forefoot and vice versa). Heel striking proved to be most economical in both groups.

EDIT V:
We get a lot of forefoot strikers who have gone to less cushioned shoes like Merrills who have more recurrent gastroc problems then forefoot strikers who have gone from less cushioned shoes to more cushioned shoes. ymmv

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
twitter & IG = @accelerate3
Last edited by: desert dude: Nov 8, 17 14:53
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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Topo, Altra, and the Merrell (Bare access line, and the vapor glove) have wide toe boxes. Merrell has been my favorite in fit. Most of their shoes are speced for tail or tail/road depending on model.

The pair of Newton Distance V have a decent toe box, but not as wide as the other 3 brands.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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I have always preferred a wider toe box---I have a very triangular foot which is wide across the ball and my big toe is straight (not bent). I ran in NB (8x0 series, IIRC) for decades. But, NB has become hard to find locally...so, last year I switched to Asics. I'm currently running in GT-1000 11/4E shoes. After 1200 miles this year in a mix of v4 and v5 of the Gt1000, I have no complaints.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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OP back, thanks for the great replies this info will keep me busy for awhile.

My doc states that I'm pronating which is causing some stress and inflamation between the two calf muscles. When I tried a generic arch support and snugged up my laces I do feel a definite improvement. For what that's worth:-)

Ron W.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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Careful with the snug laces....there be dragons down that road, too. I used to like snug laces too---developed a Morton's neuroma in my left foot from that. that's when I switched to a 4E width, and started using looser laces.

Before I switched to elastic laces, I used to lace my running shoes in two halves: toebox and instep. The toebox I kept loose, and the instep I kept tight. basically half-way up lacing the shoe I tied a knot in the laces before lacing the last three eyelets of the instep. That let me keep the instep tight without pulling the toebox tight also.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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Funny you should mention that method of tieing that's exactly what I have done. It keeps the toe box a little loose while keeping the body of the shoe somewhat snug.

And its easy to do if you have the small loops instead of the holes, just give them a double wrap and that section can remain loose.

Ron W.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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I have Flinstone feet and need some moderate stability, and love the Saucony Guide shoes. The Guide 9s had a bigger toe box than the current Guide 10s, but the 10s still fit me better than anything else I've tried. I personally find them more comfortable for my running style than Brooks, Asics (which I wore before switching to the Guides), and New Balance.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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desert dude wrote:
I was going to do an edit to my post but thought you may not see it, so here it is:


EDIT I:
Hoka's increase the width of their frames this year. The Arahi and the Gaviota might also be options

EDIT II
Just bc your doc recommended a stability running shoe doesn't mean your doc understands what a stability running shoe does. If I had $10 for every person who came into The Running Shop who said their doc said they needed a stability shoe bc of whatever when they actually did not need a stability shoe, I'd have at least $1k more in the bank. If you pronate you should think about a stability shoe. If you don't pronate then think about sticking with a neutral shoe.

EDIT III:
With forefoot runners we see a lot of them complaining of recurrent calf problems. I think this is due to the increase loading on the gastroc. Even with a high cushioned shoe there is increased loading. There are a couple of studies out there.
Yong, J., Silder, A., & Delp, S. (2014). Differences in Muscle Activity between Natural Forefoot and Rearfoot Strikers during Running Journal of Biomechanics DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.10.015

EDIT IV:
There is also a pretty cool study out there where they took people who were accustomed to heel striking and another group accustomed to forefoot striking. They had them run opposite of their preferred pattern (heel strikers ran forefoot and vice versa). Heel striking proved to be most economical in both groups.

EDIT V:
We get a lot of forefoot strikers who have gone to less cushioned shoes like Merrills who have more recurrent gastroc problems then forefoot strikers who have gone from less cushioned shoes to more cushioned shoes. ymmv

Good points.

For me personally as a forefoot runner going to a cushioned neutral shoe with 6+mm drop solved most of my achilles/calf problems.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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rjsurfer wrote:
Ok, old age is catching up to me, for a continuing calf problem, my doctor is now recommending that I switch to a stability running shoe.

Since I'm a fore foot runner I like a wide toe box, any thoughts on what brand/model shoe would for the bill? I'm partial to Saucony, Merrill and New Balance.

Thanks

Ron W.


Altra. Love them.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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I would just like to add that "wider shoe" is not the same as "wider toe box". If you don't have wide feet, buying wide shoes is a mistake. Plenty of shoes have normal width and wide toe boxes. Nike Streak (almost all the Streaks), Topo, Altra.
Maybe the coming Hoka (February) with the new upper will have a more accommodating toe box, but so far the "wider shoe" option is insufficient.
Anything with pointy toe boxes should be unacceptable. Unless you have bunions, you don't have pointy feet. I wish (more) shoe makers would start to model performance shoes after actual anatomy of feet instead of fashion, but I guess that's a wild idea.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [s.gentz] [ In reply to ]
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s.gentz wrote:
rjsurfer wrote:
Ok, old age is catching up to me, for a continuing calf problem, my doctor is now recommending that I switch to a stability running shoe.

Since I'm a fore foot runner I like a wide toe box, any thoughts on what brand/model shoe would for the bill? I'm partial to Saucony, Merrill and New Balance.

Thanks

Ron W.


Altra. Love them.

Op back, I was an early adopter of the Altra shoes and the other early minimalist shoes with wide toe boxs, thinking back now I'm wondering if they weren't the root cause of some of my calf issues I'm experiencing now at 70 yrs.

I'm still liking them today, especially now that most have more conservative versions with 4-7 mm heel lift. In my quest for some stability shoes Altras and their kind are on my short list.

Ron w
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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desert dude wrote:
I was going to do an edit to my post but thought you may not see it, so here it is:


EDIT I:
Hoka's increase the width of their frames this year. The Arahi and the Gaviota might also be options

EDIT II
Just bc your doc recommended a stability running shoe doesn't mean your doc understands what a stability running shoe does. If I had $10 for every person who came into The Running Shop who said their doc said they needed a stability shoe bc of whatever when they actually did not need a stability shoe, I'd have at least $1k more in the bank. If you pronate you should think about a stability shoe. If you don't pronate then think about sticking with a neutral shoe.

EDIT III:
With forefoot runners we see a lot of them complaining of recurrent calf problems. I think this is due to the increase loading on the gastroc. Even with a high cushioned shoe there is increased loading. There are a couple of studies out there.
Yong, J., Silder, A., & Delp, S. (2014). Differences in Muscle Activity between Natural Forefoot and Rearfoot Strikers during Running Journal of Biomechanics DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.10.015

EDIT IV:
There is also a pretty cool study out there where they took people who were accustomed to heel striking and another group accustomed to forefoot striking. They had them run opposite of their preferred pattern (heel strikers ran forefoot and vice versa). Heel striking proved to be most economical in both groups.

EDIT V:
We get a lot of forefoot strikers who have gone to less cushioned shoes like Merrills who have more recurrent gastroc problems then forefoot strikers who have gone from less cushioned shoes to more cushioned shoes. ymmv



Great post.....how did they determine what was most economical? Could you link the study if you can find it?
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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Some brands like New balance have detailed forefoot flex measurements avail , it all comes down to trying and testing shoe as you go
Have never tried Altra i must say, they look super comfortable
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [Last-offtheBike] [ In reply to ]
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If you want to geek out on all the studies, suggest reading the book tread lightly.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rhayden] [ In reply to ]
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Study for EDIT IV from my post above:


Economy and rate of carbohydrate oxidation during running with rearfoot and forefoot strike patterns
Allison H. Gruber, Brian R. Umberger, Barry Braun, and Joseph Hamill
Journal of Applied Physiology May 16, 2013

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
twitter & IG = @accelerate3
Last edited by: desert dude: Nov 13, 17 7:51
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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Brian, thanks for posting that study....One thing they didn't take into account or mention, were the FF runners "natural" FF runners? by that I mean are these individuals recent FF converts coming from a heel first background?

For me it took 3+ years before I could say I was fluid and completely relaxed. I would bet all the HF runners were life long heel strikers. That might make a difference in efficiency.

Ron W.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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Since you’ve been a forefoot striker your entire running life I’m going to tell you things you already know along with hopefully a tip or two.

1. A stability shoe makes no sense if you are a forefoot striker. For a tradional stability shoe to work, that posting needs to come in contact with the ground. The entire functional aspect of the posting is to support the foot once pressure is applied. If you are running forefoot you are never apllying pressure.
2. In general when we talk about how long a running shoe should last we always give a range. All runners want to get more out of their shoes so they always strive for the high mileage range. The low end of the range is there for the extremes. A heavy heel striker breaks down the heel quickly and forefoot striker breaks down the forefoot quickly. Why? If you are truly running on your forefoot that part of the shoe is “absorbing” twice the force. It’s absorbing on impact and it’s absorbing on toe off. So let’s say and average midfoot striker gets 400 miles out of a shoe. It’s a fairly safe bet you are getting 200 miles.
3. Your body is a great absorber. It’s designed to attenuate any shock you give it. The forefoot runner is seriously giving the body all it can handle. More than likely you are now at an age where the body can’t do that any more.
4. Calf problems are common in forefoot runners. If you have been running a long time and this is the only calf problem you’ve had I’d make sure you are looking up and down the chain. Yes, you may be dealing with worn out shoes or you simply need a better platform. It may also be above your calf.
5. A better platform. There are many shoes that will give a better platform. No knowing exactly which shoes you are running in it’s hard to give any direction. Send the last 3-4 shoes you’ve run in and you’ll get a more accurate answer on this subject.

Dave Jewell
Free Run Speed
Running Shoe Insight

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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [SDJ] [ In reply to ]
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Dave,

You make some good points...

I just received my new stability shoes today that my ortho/chiro recommended and low and behold I perceive no improvement in decreasing my pronation, which he is saying is aggrevating my calf problem. Sure enough, landing on my FF can't make use of the firmer shoe construction, my arch is never is putting pressure on the shoes support structure. Then how does a shoe create more support for a FF runner then? Tightening up the toe box? That can't be good.

Your point on FF runners generating more shock and impact to the body I don't get. I would assume landing on you fore foot with a bent knee would actually lessen the shock, especially to your knees, back and hips. Maybe I'm seeing this wrong.....that was one for the reasons I made the switch to FF 30 years ago. Go figure.

Ron W.
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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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A better platform is what you need. When I say that I’m referring to the relative curve in the forefoot as well as the generally geometry of the forefoot. It’s quite possible that you are getting some movement in your foot that a better forefoot platform will help.

Some clarification. The body absorbs the force on impact and toe off. They are different forces but they are still there. Your body does that too. Because you land and toe off in the same area of the shoe the stress on the shoe is higher. The foam in that one spot will simply compress to flat much faster.

If you send me the brand and model of the shoes you liked running in I can probably match that fit with a better forefoot platform.

Dave Jewell
Free Run Speed
Running Shoe Insight

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Re: Wide toe box plus stability shoe? [rjsurfer] [ In reply to ]
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As Dave has been mentioning throughout the thread -- there's an inherent difference in platform stability of a particular shoe versus what has traditionally been called "stability" in running shoes. Really, I think, a better "platformed" structured neutral shoe (meaning a little less flexible up there, a little bit broader under foot) would likely solve most of your issues here - it needs to be robust and broad enough to overcome the height of the cushioning underfoot.

I would almost put money on a Saucony isoTriumph working here.

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