Walking the Earth (shoes)

Put 5.31 miles on some new shoes today. Got a pair of Earth Footwear Ash shoes yesterday and they feel different.

My average speed was a lot slower than usual. My speed hovered around 2.2mph for the first 2 miles then on the way back I got up to about 3.2 mph. My heart rate averaged at 130 for the trip, first leg being about 125, and about 135 for the way back.

I walked down to the Gamestop on Blossom Hill for a minor transaction — sold a few games, bought a few games. Remind me that retail bites. I should go back to craigslist. Continued the walk down to Santa Teresa and looped around to eat at Rubio’s at Oakridge. Unfortunately they got rid of my favorite menu item, the Healthmex Chicken Salad. OK, second favorite menu item. The main reason I eat at Rubio’s is that it’s the only food court place that serves beer. That’s right. Mall beer.

Anyway, I hoofed it straight back and that worked out a lot better. I must be starting to get used to the Earth Shoes stuff. So what is the deal with these shoes? First off, they have “negative heel technology” which means the shoes incline the foot slightly — 3.7 degrees. Why 3.7? I dunno. In addition to this, they add a pretty big arch support into the shoe and a bit more padding into the sole. This makes for a weird feeling. It’s the opposite of being on tiptoes. My foot feels stretched in the shoe, and my stride length was shorter initially. Supposedly there’s more muscles involved in maintining posture vs normal shoes. I do see there’s a slight increase in how my quads feel as well as some extra glute tone. I liked walking in them towards the end of the trip, though I still felt like I wasn’t operating at peak. Of course the shoes I was wearing were casual/dressy. It might be different in a more sneaker/sporty shoe.

Normally my shins get a little sore after walking, and I’d thought that would be exacerbated by the new shoes, but they don’t feel too bad.Julie read somewhere that shin splints come from a muscle imbalance between the shin and the calf muscles. I’m sure there are more technical terms for those, but that’s the deal. Usually the calf is overdeveloped so the shin struggles to catch up and gets sore. The fix is to do muscle work specifically on the shin like having a weight placed on the toes or front of foot lifted only by flexing the foot upwards or standing with toes on a book or something small and stretching the foot to level it out. That’s essentially what these shoes do — they definitely focus the shin muscles more than the calf. This is wonderful for me! I expect to wear these shoes maybe 50-75% of the time to better work our my leg muscles and even out some of the imbalance. Hopefully this leads to more comfortable longer distance walking… maybe even running.

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