Which Way Do Your Feet Roll?

Ω April 23rd, 2010 Ω Tagged , , , , , , , Ω 39 Comments

New PSA: Your foot health is VERY important. You’re asking them to do a lot: running around from appointment to appointment, standing in line, even giving a well-placed kick every so often. Those puppies take a lot of abuse.

Did you know that when you run, your feet strike the ground at a force of three to four times your body weight? So, let’s take me for example:

F = mg
F = (54.5 kg) x (9.8 m/s2) (give or take a few decimal values)
F = 534.5 kg.m/s2 = 534.5 Newtons (with rounding error)

So, just loitering around, I’m exerting a force of 534.5 N on the Earth (and the Earth is pushing back on me with the same force, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll ignore that little detail). So that means that when I’m running, I’m exerting a force of 1600 to 2100 Newtons! No wonder my feet hurt! Even if you don’t run, you exert a lot of force while walking.

I thought about force while I was running today (what? don’t you all think about stuff like that?), and how, gosh darn it, sometimes my feet just HURT. Especially the outsides of my feet. When I examined my sneakers a little closer today, I discovered why the outsides of my feet hurt the most:

See how the outside edge of my right sneaker is worn away? Here, it’s more apparent in one of my everyday walking-around shoes:

I’m a classic supinator, meaning my feet roll to the outside when I’m walking and running. Apparently, supination is not as common as overpronating, because I can’t find many shoes specially designed to correct supination. I’ll keep searching.

What? You want to know how big my feet are?

Yes, that IS dirty old grass hanging down from the sole.

My feet are a size 9. I’m 5′ 6″, so my feet aren’t THAT big … but, as I mentioned before, my nickname at a former place of employment was “sled foot”. I just think of my big feet giving extra leverage while I run. Eat my dust, sukkahs!

Let’s talk about food a bit.

Oh no!! It’s the last of the Chillin’ Chocolate! The best OIAJ I’ve ever had, but still … *tear*

With a creepy hand lurking in the background.

My sister D sent me this cute little Dirty Dozen cheat sheet that you can print out and take with you to the supermarket:


[source]

The Dirty Dozen are the 12 items of produce that have the highest level of pesticides. I talk about what produce to buy organic and what to buy conventional in this post from way back when. The guide above is great, especially concerning spinach. If you buy spinach in those “triple washed” tubs, don’t be deceived – spinach tested the highest for coliform bacteria of any leafy green, even spinach that was already “washed”. So, wash wash wash your spinach!

(Click on the “coliform bacteria” link if you really want to see what coliforms are. I’ll give you a hint: poopy.)

Have a great weekend, everyone! See you all on Sunday!

Q: Which way do YOUR feet roll?

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» Filed under Exercise » 39 Comments

39 Responses to “Which Way Do Your Feet Roll?”

  • aletheia says:

    Thanks for calculating force, Jessie. That was awesome.

    To be honest, I have no clue which way my feet roll. Most of the time, I’m just glad they don’t roll backwards. Because that would be a problem.

    It’s funny that you’re talking about feet today because I was actually just noticing how my feet smell. Except that’s probably not related to force.

    WAHAHA I AM SO GROSS.

  • Kelly says:

    This post cracked me up- it was like I was back to high school physics. According to the people at the running store my feet don’t roll one way or another, but I’m not convinced that’s true. Or more like, I want my knee problems to be the result of a foot problem than can be corrected, rather than the result of nothing.

  • ashley says:

    Great post! I really like the dirty dozen cheat sheet :-)

  • Midgetkeeper says:

    Inward I believe. Who knows, I don’t pay attention to things like that but I should considering I am starting to run more. Hmm, now I’m going to pay attention.

  • Lauren says:

    Oops. I never wash my triple-washed tub spinach. Does that mean I’m eating poop? That is pretty disgusting, I must say. I don’t know if I can even eat spinach anymore haha.

    I think I’m an overpronater, but I have never been formally evaluated. I should get on that. Usually at specialty running stores they have shoes for all types, have you tried going to one of those? As for every day shoes, you are probably right that most of them are geared to overpronaters because its more common. Sorry, I’m kinda useless there.
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  • My feet are like yours – all of my shoes have the wear on the outside. My mom has always stressed foot health to me – she said it’s really important to switch up shoes so you don’t wear them down too hard. Also, not to buy used shoes or borrow your friends shoes b/c you don’t want your feet to walk in their worn out patterns.

    Johnny’s roll the opposite way, the insides of his get worn down. He gets foot and ankle pain from it and has gone to a specialist about it. He now has these inserts made to conform to his foot that slip in a few pair of his most worn shoes to help counter it.

    I’ve heard from friends that some chiropractor offices have a “scale” of sorts that evaluate the way you put weight on your feet and can help correct problems from the ground up. I have not gone to a chiropractor w/ that machinery, but I think it sounds interesting.

  • Ana says:

    My feet overpronate… I don’t get much pain on my feet but the side of my calves always hurt a lot after a long run :( This week for my last speech in my Speech class (finally) I gave a persuasive speech on the benefits about buying organic, I learned about the dirty dozen. It was so scary learning of all the chemicals and pesticides that we can be consuming. Now more than ever I am washing everything!!!

  • Such interesting info here! I just love to figure these things out. I went to a great running store a few times to get fitted for the perfect sneaker and they watched me run up and down the block in Boston and then determined which was the best pair for me. I love that you’re so aware of your foot strike. I wasn’t for a long time and then I developed sciatica when I was running in really really old sneakers for much too long. Good to know this stuff!

    I’m loving the little cheat sheet of the dirty dozen. I need to print it out and carry it with me!

    Have a lovely weekend.

    I’m thinking it’s crazy how similar our lives have been. I really am so devastated that we didn’t get to meet! I hope you can come to the conference in San Fran in October, because I’d be so so happy to spend time together!

  • Lucy says:

    Haha, those dirty dozen fruits and veggies look so adorable! I’ve been eating regular triple washed spinach, eek, will check out some organic options this weekend.

    I didn’t know about this whole foot rolling issue, although it totally makes sense. I don’t know which way my feet roll…possibly all over the place :)

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  • luvtoeat says:

    Aah, you just took me back to my good ol’ physics 10 teaching days. 
    Force=mass x acceleration (or in this case gravity) luv it! Oh how I miss teaching. 

    Good thing you’re not a guy or I’d think you were trying to brag about your shoe size ;-) I think I’m a supinator too cause the heels of my shoes look like yours. Thanks for the quick lesson by the way, interesting. And speaking of feet, have you heard this crazy Chinese (I guess you could call it a) belief that if you have really arched feet it means you live a hard working life but if you have flat feet you live an easier, comfortable life? Haha. Oh us Chinese. But I’d have to say so far it’s been true for the people I’ve observed.

    Loved that dirty dozen cheat sheet. Thanx for sharing. Have a great weekend Jessie.  
      

    • Jessie says:

      I learned a lot of strange Chinese traditions when I was a youngun, but I’ve never hear of that one, LeQuan!

  • Wow, great feet post :) I think I don’t take enough care of my feet but I should!

  • Neat post, Jessie! My biggest problem is actually that I have unusually wide feet. If a shoe is even just a bit too narrow, it cramps the outside of my foot, sometimes to the point where the tendon gets really sore! Not good!

  • Kira Mae says:

    Let me know if you find shoes or inserts or anything to help with the supination (is that the right word?) My husband walks on the outsides of his feet to the EXTREMES, its very visible when he walks and the soles of his shoes wear down within months. I wish I could show you his work shoes, they are practically triangular. So far it hasn’t led to any health problems, but I imagine it might someday.

    Also, had to laugh at “luvtoeat” ‘s comment about foot arches. I have very pronounced arches, I never gave it much attention but many people have commented on my arches to me, now I can just tell them its because I’m such a hard worker. Maybe I’ll bring it up at my next job interview.

  • Simply Life says:

    I definitely put the pressure on the same side as you – the outside of my feet!

  • Joanne says:

    I am definitely an overprotonator and have shoes to correct it. It was really giving me knee problems for a while but those have since gone away.

    Love the dirty dozen cheat sheet! I am always forgetting what to buy and not buy…

  • Lazaro says:

    Informative post. Well-written and intelligent. This blog is on my daily reading list. Cheers!

  • i have a combination of over pronation and supination. that is what the running store guys tell me. and i too am 5 6 but wear a size 10 sometimes 11. hate it! your nine is perfect :)
    enjoy you weekend love!

  • ur size 9 feet are sexy haha. im an outside roller too.

    i let my shoes get too worn out and need to be more careful to replace them. plus my feet are too sensitive and i easily get blisters.

    great post. have a fantastic weekend lovie <3

  • Ameena says:

    I’m not sure which way my feet roll but I know that I overpronate so they don’t roll the way they should. :)

    I am almost 5’8″ but I wear a 7.5 – 8 size shoe. Isn’t that weird? I have proportion issues!

  • That is THE most adorable dirty dozen sheet i’ve ever seen!

  • My feet roll in, but I have custom orthotics to correct it so I don’t get a bunch of injuries.

  • homecookedem says:

    I had my feet analyzed at a running store a few years ago and if I remember correctly, I think they said my feet are neutral. I do use heel inserts because recently my heel has been giving me a little trouble. The inserts have helped a lot! Oh, and I sooooo have you beat!! I’m only 5’4 and I wear a TEN in running shoes!! And it gets better, Andrew wears like a 14/15, so yeah, our kids are going to have flippers for feet, haha! ;)

  • I think you need some new shoes!! ;) Maybe if you go to a specialty shop (like others have suggested) they can evaluate how you run and then give you some shoes to try that can best support your feet. The best thing to do is to find one you like/that works in the shop, and then go order it online where it’s cheaper! (my favorite is: http://www.roadrunnersports.com)

    Anyway, I love the force calculations — it’s crazy to think about! Makes me more in awe of how amazing our feet/bodies are to be able to support so much force on a regular basis. Also, I’m a huge overpronator! It’s bad!

  • Biz says:

    I need to get my feet checked – I have no idea how my feet roll! Hope you are having a great weekend!

  • I am super dooper neutral! I work for a running/cycling store and it’s amazing what running in the right shoe can do for your body!

  • katie says:

    AHH yes the sad thing about OIAJ is that they END! yours looks AWEESOME.
    i over pronate BAD on my right ankle!!

  • I am a pronator, and my knees just LOVE it <3 hehe. Just kidding.
    I definitely need to be refitted for running shoes. I ran the marathon with the same exact make, model, and size that I have run in for years, and they felt so tight. My toenails still feel bruised almost a week later.

  • I had them watch my walk at the shoe store. I honestly forget how my feet roll, but my sneakers are super comfy.
    I love the dirty dozen chart. Totally cute! I would love to buy all organic but I just can’t afford it.
    Have a great day!

  • Christa says:

    I am 5’3” and I’m a shoe size 6-6.5… I feel tiny compared to the sizes I’ve heard here!!! :D

    Btw Jessie I always though of you as kind of short with tiny feet, like all those cute Chinese girls, you know? Your height was a bit of a surprise! haha

    I haven’t noticed my feet roll at one direction or another, but when I wear high heels I am putting more pressure on the heel than I should and so they wear out more often than most people’s shoes! I destroyed the boots I was wearing all winter like this! lol

    I always wash the food that I buy (meaning fruit and veg but also sometimes meat).Apart from making them cleaner, it also makes them look more alive and colourful! :)

  • Faith says:

    That was really interesting! I never really thought about it before, but our feet work hard! :)

    That dirty dozen cheat sheet is adorable!

  • John says:

    I roll in and more on the left than the right.

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