Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General Shoes for jumping athletes…

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    • #70779

      I’ve recently started making the shift to zero drop shoes for general walking, working and running. But I play volleyball, which involves jumping.

      The reason I bring up this question is the use of heels by power/oly lifters. The advantage that the heel gives them is immense. I’m curious if this advantage transfers over to jumping athletes, or if the horizontal forces (not present in power/oly lifting) at play actually put the athlete at greater risk for injury?

      My PT asked me if I wore my zero drop Merrel’s when I play. I told him no, and then asked if I should. He didn’t have an answer for me – his main concern was their lack of ankle support, which isn’t present on regular volleyball shoes anyways since most players use an active ankle brace for support.

      Thanks in advance for any feedback!

    • #74081
      Avatar[email protected]

      In my experience with this (I am not a doctor) I think ankle braces are a pretty big farce.  I’d imagine if I were to roll my ankle in a brace the force would find its way somewhere else — perhaps higher up in the ankle.  While wearing it during the times that catastrophe does not occur you are limiting your range of motion in which case I could imagine that causing your mechanics to be compromised.  

      As far as a heel on a shoe, I think the only thing that does is shield pain feedback from your heel striking.  Walking and Running are very easy ways to train and develop sustainable landing mechanics.  However, in the environment of a sport — I think all that training goes out the window.  
      I went through a period of time with zero drop shoes and then went to play basketball and I couldn’t stop heel striking even with all the development time that I had.  Heel striking in Zero drop shoes is what you want to avoid.
      I’d like to hear more about ankle support though
    • #74095

      I ended up playing some volleyball last night with my zero drop merrell’s. They worked pretty well. Very little ankle support, but with all of my foot strengthening exercises, they felt quite stable all night long. I also read a small blurb on the Altra running shoe site that the zero drop helps jump performance.

      Also read in another article that the zero drop actually helps jumping by allowing greater dorsiflexion – which translates into allowing more muscle engagement.

    • #74098

      I got a response from my PT friend out in California about the subject. If any other PT’s have an opinion on the matter, I’m eager to hear and learn from it. 🙂

      Since jumping is something where controlling your own body is at an all time high,
      and your legs have to control up to 7 times your body weight in jumping
      exercises, I wouldn’t want anything to interfere with the body’s mechanics. 

      People use them in Olympic lifting for a few reasons. One being they allow the trunk
      to be more upright during the lift. The shoes put the lower extremity in a
      position that eliminates the need for hip flexion and dorsiflexion and puts
      that excess flexion all into the knee. This is advantageous when there is
      weight racked on the shoulders or overhead because now the lifter can have a
      vertical torso to better absorb the weight.

      my opinion zero drop shoes are advantageous for all sports and recreational
      activities. Also, the higher the heel is in a shoe, the more at risk they are
      for rolling their ankle.  Of course, some people’s bodies may not be ready
      for a zero drop shoe, but that should be the end goal. In my opinion, the Nike
      Basketball Kobe series of shoes have been the best volleyball shoe to ever hit
      the market. The things I like about this shoe is that it has a low heel,
      minimal drop, minimal toe spring (curling up of the shoe at the toes – this
      stretches your muscles on the underside of your toes and inhibits them from
      working), and a wide toe box.

    • #75924
      AvatarNick Gulakowski

      great reads great reads.  Ive thought and wondered all these same things and come to agree with you very much.  Dunking and flips are my thing, and I’ve been dissatisfied with the hoop shoes.  Kobes are also my favorite, I’ve had 3 pairs of 5s and 6s (which are really similar to each other) and a pair of 9s.  I think i hate the 9s, way too much going on with the arch, but my 6s are like flat.  its tough.  I just wanted to know your opinions on the issue.  barefoot in grass is the way to be, but sometimes i wonder is we just aren’t made to run and jump on hard flat surfaces like the basketball court. idk, id just love to talk to you. hope ya get this.

    • #75963
      AvatarGeorge McLaney

      thanman, the 9s are a big improvement coming from heavily cushioned, inflexible shoes like the LeBron’s. I appreciate your Kobe 6 recommendation and will check them out. The Under Armor Anatomix Spawn Low is meant to be pretty flat, too. I think in general that basketball shoes have gone way too far from a “support” standpoint – TPU heel cups, torsional shanks, mega thick midsoles that don’t flex. It’s even worse than the chunky running shoes that are suddenly all the rage. I know basketball places a lot of demands on the lower leg but having optimal capacity and solid jumping, landing, cutting and running mechanics are the true foundation of a stable baller. All these braces and clunky shoes are just masking athletes’ real issues. 

    • #76075
      AvatarRichard McGaha

      I played 3 hrs of pick up ball in Vibrams. Big mistake but not from heal striking. I burned a big hole on the base of my foot between great and second toe from pivoting. I had been training in them for a few years prior so my legs and ankles were fine. I believe if I had toe socks on it would have prevented the terrible blister. Thanks for the tips about the Kobes, and UA. I will look into those. I have gone back to Adidas but keep damaging my big toe nail from them and I am not certain why.

    • #76076
      AvatarRichard McGaha

      I forgot to mention. I did feel like I could jump out of the gym with the Vibrams.

    • #76082
      AvatarGeorge McLaney

      Jethro117, you can get the Nike KB Mentality for 80 bucks at multiple stores on sale. The word is that they take a while to break in the uppers, but that they’re pretty minimal and allow the foot to function like the foot. If you signed up for the Dick’s Sporting Goods mailing list, you could get a coupon and get them for just over 70 bucks shipped with free return if needed. 

      It’s a shame more shoes aren’t stripped down like this – most are just getting ridiculous shank plates, arch supports, thick midsoles that are like strapping 2x4s to your feet. Crazy!

      Maybe the Adidas pinch because the toe box is too narrow. 
      Good luck.
    • #77172
      AvatarJohn Mueller

      I play basketball at a fairly high level and use Merrell pace glove barefoot shoes. There’s no ankle support.I bought a pair of Nike Hyper Aggressors https://bestoutdooritems.com/best-basketball-shoes-for-ankle-support/  3 months ago. They light solid, feet stay, great ankle support, good for any position really (I play the 1,2, and 3 position in pickup games). I got them for $55 and so far they’re worth it.

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