Tips & Techniques to Get You Back to Full Strength

Holey Shoes

Denise Smith 
February 2, 2018

Holey Shoes!

Does this picture look familiar to you? Do you ask yourself why this happens? I can tell you the top 3 reasons it happens and it is not because the shoe designers don't have enough stitching.

Reasons you have holes in the top of your shoes:

1. Your form

2. Your form

3. Your form

I have read on forums that runners have done everything from reinforcing the shoe with duct tape to buying new shoes. Instead of putting a Band-Aid on the problem, why don't runners just fix the underlying issue? How much money are you willing to dump on shoes before you will address the cause of it?

The swing phase of running is when your foot leaves the ground to when it touches back down. During this time, if your foot is not relaxed your toes will pull up (toe extension) and will start sawing at the top of the shoe, eventually causing the fabric to wear away and a hole will be created. Your foot, and especially your toes, should not work that hard during running because they are not designed to do that type of work for any length of time - especially 26.2 miles! They are small muscles and by extending them up during the swing phase, you are asking them to do a big job for that long period; they are not designed to do this much work! As a result, runners come into my clinic every day with complaints of shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or some other leg pain and wonder why they have these symptoms. I point to their shoes as the first example of how hard their body is having to work for a task that does not require that much effort. Learning how to pull your leg off the ground with your hamstring allows your foot and toes to relax during the swing phase.A running technique specialist can give you some great drills to help learn this important phase of running. The goal is to let the big muscles do the heavy lifting and leave the small muscles in your feet and toes to do the job of stabilizing your foot during landing.



Denise Smith
Meet the Author
Denise Smith graduated from Marquette University in 2002 with a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy and has been a certified running technique specialist since 2014. She is a consultant for multiple local middle and high schools and instructs courses in Kinesiology at McHenry County College. Denise also travels the country as part of the Pose Method education team with a lecture series on injury prevention and treatment along with the running technique certification course.