I am on a tight budget, so I'm trying to get a single shoe for everyday use
and exercise. One ventilated shoe for summer, another enclosed shoe for
winter. I have a very flat-footed right foot, but in recent years, it
hasn't bothered me (years ago, it bugged my knee alot). I wear
off-the-shelf insoles for arch support (Superfeet), with a metatarsal pad
(MTP) on the right foot. The MTP was an experimental attempt to solve foot
pain caused by cheap shoes that squeezed the front half of the metatarsal
bone leading to the big toe. Only helped a small bit. This (rather than
the currently inconsequential flat-footedness) is the primary reason why
I'm in a hurry to find decent replacements shoes. Admittedly,
flat-footedness could be amplifying the impingement on the metarsal bone.
My primary whole-body-weight-bearing exercise is kickboxing and karate.
Often, though not regularly, I also like to walk half-hour to an hour, once
or twice a day, on good pavement and wintery ground (could be gnarled
ice/snow). On occassion, I jog for upto half-hour.
My primary source of info, besides a sport-medicine doctor, kinesiologists,
and runners' foot store experts, are:
According to these, my shoe should be motion-controlled and straight-last
to prevent overpronation. That means the shoe should not twist easily
along the front-back axis, and should not bend inward at the front.
(Personally, I find that presses the big toe). Rightly or wrongly, I have
relegated this to a secondary consideration, since my right knee hasn't
been a problem in recent years. More importantly, I am trying to balance
the need for support in walking versus the diverse needs of martial arts,
which I spend much more time on.
* Too much webbing for ventilation means that the outer shell is not
rugged enough for constant impact against a bag
* Depending on the art form, the back foot may be flat on the ground (foot
bent up at the ankle so that the toe is slanted upward toward knee,
possibly leaning toward the outside of the knee).
* Potentially lots of bouncing on toes.
* Front kicks have the toes pulled back, implying a need for toe flex, as
in a runner's shoe. However, I'm not sure if the lateral inflexibility
of a running shoe would be to constraing.
* For kickboxing style of interest, back foot has a raised heel, again
implying a need for toe flex
* Cat stance also needs similar foot positioning as front kick.
* Side kick requires bending at the ankle so that the blade (outer edge)
of the foot faces out sideways, toes still point forward. Hooks kicks
can also be done this way.
* Front splits require same bending at ankles as side kick.
* Back kick requires the front of foot bent toward the shin so that heel
protrudes out. Round house may also require this, but with toes pulled
* Roundhouse with instep requires toes pointing away from the shin.
Hook kicks can also be done this way to strike with ball of foot.
I think a good summary is that the shoe should allow good range of
positions of the ankle. I'm tempted to conclude that this falls under the
needs addressed by cross trainers. However, I haven't been able to find a
good explanation of exactly what cross trainers are, in terms of specific
support. Vague descriptions such as allowing side-to-side movement,
lateral support (which I think better describes restricted movement of
motion controlled runners).
Thanks for any suggestions as a shoe type that meet these requirements. If
it also meets the requirements of walking and/or flat-footedness, so much
the better (running is also a consideration, but not very much). If you
can clarify the specific attributes that define a cross trainer, that would
be appreciated too.
When I use to have right-knee problems, I tried custom insoles made from
box-foam impressions, but they didn't help hardly at all. If the knees
ever become a problem again, I will try plaster- cast-based insoles. They
are suppose to be better because they don't flatten out the feet while they are