We Love What We Do

I was scheduled to have yesterday off from work with a plan to do orders from home and watch some football. So naturally I got bored and went to Lucky Road anyway. Just wanted see if there was anything I could do to help out for an hour or so. While I was there a gentleman named Taylor walked through the door and was clearly on a mission. When I greeted him and asked if I could be of service he promptly replied yes, I need someone to help fit me for a good pair of running shoes. He expressed some frustration with his running as of late and how he had been advised, by another shoe fitting expert, that there was no magic bullet for his problems and he should consider taking up another sport. Upon hearing this I knew I had to give Taylor my best effort.

We spent some time together going over his goals and injury history. We also took time to observe his running gait from head to toe. Not jut once but a few …

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Stablize-me-not

Alicia stopped by our Lucky Road Willow Lawn store the other day. Her last ten pair of shoes were the same stability model. She was just looking for another pair of the same shoe to replace her last ones. After taking some time to get to know Alicia we were able to discover her injury history. Alicia had chronic discomfort around her knee. We also took the time to observe her running form with and without her orthotic. Turns out Alicia has a neutral gait cycle and her knee pain may be the result of overcorrection from the stability shoes she’s been wearing over the years.

In an effort to appear more technical, many running shoe stores will assess their customers while running on a treadmill and then video their feet from the rear. Unfortunately the rear angles involved create an optical illusion which make the runner appear to overpronate the shoe. About 70% of runners assessed from behind will end up buying stability shoes. In reality only 35% of runners actually need that kind of support. About half of …

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Helping as we can

David is 11 years old. On the recommendation of his pediatrician, David and his Dad came to visit with us at Lucky Road/Road. I was working on something in thestock room when they both arrived so I did not have the privilege of greeting them or to observe David’s gait as he walking into our store. A fellow associate came back to let me know there was a client up front that needed my attention. And she was right.

After emerging from the stock room I was able to say hello and shake hands with both David and his Dad. I then listened as the Dad explained about the issues David was having when he walked. David would turn his entire right leg out and had a severe limp. I watched David walk and saw for myself that everything his Dad said was accurate. David had a severe degree external rotation to his entire right leg and foot. There was an obvious torque to the right side of his pelvis and excess loading on his left leg. At first I …

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The Importance of Asking More Information

Jack was referred to us by his Physical therapist. It was suggested that he try on the Brooks Dyad. The Dyad is a unique shoe in that it is designed for a flat-stable foot. Unfortunately the majority of shoe manufacturers don’t recognize that this foot type exists. So there are not many options available. Even fewer shoe fitting experts know how to use this type of shoe.

At first glance I noticed that Jack did not have a flat foot. In fact, he had a very high, rigid arch. My first thought was the Dyad was not an appropriate shoe for him. But I needed more information before making that suggestion. So, I asked Jack why he was seeing a PT. Turns out he is experiencing pain due to extremely tight muscles, both intrinsic and extrinsic, of the lower limb. Again, This information has me thinking the Dyad is not appropriate. One last question led to my discovery that Jack also has neuropathy. Neuropathy affects the nerve endings which, in Jack’s case, was causing burning and numbing sensations in his feet. …

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Taking the time

A few months back Brendt stopped by Lucky Road to seek our advice for a chronic injury issue. He was experiencing pain to the lateral aspect, outside area, of his left shin. If he stopped running for a week or so the pain would go away. But soon after he started running again the pain returned. This was happening over and over. Brendt went to see a local orthopedist and explained his experience. After Brendt waited for over an hour, the good doctor finally came in and spent about 3 minutes of his time to tell Brendt he had a mild strain and to stay off it for two weeks, then he could resume running again. There was no examination, no research of running history, no observation of gait and no time to answer Brendt’s questions. Brendt deserved better.

So Brendt came to see us at Lucky Road. Now I’m no doctor, but I do have a degree in sports medicine and consider myself an expert in the area of running related injuries. I also considered it an honor that …

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Doing what is best

WARNING: The following post is sure to offend certain sales professionals. However, this is intended to be a public service announce to the remainder of the general running population. Enjoy 🙂

During the summer of 2008, I attended an annual running industry conference. The economy was tanking at the time and one of our breakout sessions tried to address that issue. I was surprised to learn that the other store owners in the room reported a significant decline in sales that year. I was the odd man out of their commiseration party because my company was actually up about 20%. Yes, I got some weird looks of disbelief. So I just sat and listened as the discussion ensued on ideas of how we could make up for the drop in sales. The retail experts in the room began explaining the art of “up-selling”, methods of getting customers to buy more products during their visit. I was the lone dissenting voice in the room. I explained that the success of my running store was due to being honest with my clients, taking …

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Shin Splint Lesson #1

You’re probably wondering why this amazingly good looking man is pointing to another runner’s lower leg. Well, this is a quick lesson on the subject of “Shin Splints.” Keep in mind that the term “shin splint” has evolved into a generic term to describe just about any pain above the ankle and below the knee. At Lucky Road, we prefer to be a wee bit more detailed. This incredibly hansom man is actually pointing to a muscle on the front of the shin known as the “Tibialis Anterior.” There are two main reasons why runner’s may experience pain to this muscle:

1) A lack of shock absorption from our running shoes. Old or worn out shoes don’t disperse impact forces as well as newer models. If our shoes don’t absorb impact, those forces can increases stress to the front of the shin, or the “Tibialis Anterior.” In many cases a new pair of shoes with good cushioning can alleviate anterior shin pain.

2) An imbalance of strength and flexibility between the front and back of the leg. The Tibialis Anterior …

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SHIN SPLINT LESSON #2: Medial shin pain

Keeping in mind that the term “shin splint” has evolved into a generic term to describe any pain below the knee and above the ankle. At Lucky Road we prefer to be a wee bit more detailed. In lesson #1 we discussed pain to a muscle known as the “Tibialis Anterior”, front of the shin. Today we will discuss pain to a muscle known as the “Tibialis Posterior” located to the medial or inside of the shin. There are two main reasons we runners may experience pain along the Tibialis Posterior muscle.

1) Excessive medial motion or overpronation of the shoe. The tibialis posterior muscle/tendon is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the subtalor joint (the medial or inside of our ankle/heel) and the talo-navicular joint (the highest point of our arch). If our running shoes roll too much under our arches, the tibialis posterior is forced to work much harder and can be strained. Pain as a result of excessive motion/overpronation can, in many cases, be alleviated with the use of stability shoes.

2) Falling arches. During the stance phase …

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Just my thought for the day…

Today I took off work and drove to Fredericksburg, VA to visit with my Grand Mother. She’ll celebrate her 100th birthday this May. As we sat together holding hands, I kept looking into her eyes with hope for any glimmer of recognition. But she doesn’t remember me anymore, and thats ok… because I remember her. I remember how she always had a room ready for me. I remember how I couldn’t leave without being cajoled into eating a piece of her homemade pie. I remember the enjoyment of helping her with the dishes. I remember the disappointment when she had an automatic dishwasher installed. I remember her thanking me for taking her to a road race so she could see me run. I remember the Christmas she gave me a scrapbook with years of newspaper clippings from my running career. I remember that no matter what challenges life threw at me, she would tell me I was special. I remember she always had time for me. And that’s the point, Time. Time well spent is time with those we love. …

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Great, how much is this going to cost?

Jonathan is a middle school age athlete who visited Lucky Road a few weeks ago with his family. After introducing myself to everyone I got the impression that Jonathan’s Dad wasn’t too thrilled to be here. It’s just me but he had that look of “oh brother, how much is THIS going to cost.” His dad went on to explain that because of Jonathan’s feet his doctor suggested he get more supportive shoes and supportive insoles. A mutual friend, Tammy, recommended they visit Lucky Road. (and for that we say Thank You)

At first appearance Jonathan’s inner ankle bones pointed toward each other while his heels pointed away. If all we did was observe him standing we might come to the same conclusion as his doctor. However, we know that feet can behave differently between standing, walking and running so we observed Jonathan run as well. Sure enough, he demonstrated a neutral running gait. When he stopped running and stood still, everything relaxed again, his ankles rolled back inward and his heels pointed away.

The Tibial Posterior muscle/tendon tracks along the …

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