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Nike Shox Sux

Nike Shox were introduced in 2000 and unfortunately, have become extremely popular. The main concern with the shoe, is its elevated heel. The elevated heels, forces your foot into plantar flexion (foot pointed downward), shifting your body’s center of gravity and increasing the amount of pressure on the forefoot. This shift in your center of gravity, forces your lower body to lean forward to compensate for the plantar flexion, while your upper body leans back to keep your head level with the horizon. Over time, the compensation patterns your body adopts, can exacerbate foot, leg and lower back problems. The main concern is with the injury potential to the lower back. Elevating the heel reduces the S-curve of the lower back, flattening it, reducing its shock absorbing capabilities. Poor spinal alignment can lead to poor athletic performance, especially if the sport involves a high strength component, and overuse of the spinal erector muscles.
The elevated heel of Nike Shox also increases the recruitment of the quadriceps muscles (quadriceps dominance), which as I pointed out in my Women and ACL Injuries Post, can increase the chances of an ACL injury.

Athletic Performance
The increased plantar flexion, due to the elevated heel, lessens the amount of force you’re able to transmit to the ground when running. This translates to a decrease in running speed. I can think of no sport that rewards the athlete that runs the s-l-o-w-e-s-t.
One of the key selling point for the Nike Shox, the rubber columns, is also one of the biggest drawbacks in the gym and on the playing field. In the gym, when executing a lower body exercise while wearing Nike Shox, you’ll find you won’t be able to lift as much weight, as if you were wearing a different shoe. The reason is due to the hollow rubber columns.

For instance, if you were performing a squat while wearing Nike Shox, forces generated by your body to lift the weight, would first have to compress the hollow columns, before
transferring to the ground. This means less force would be available to overcome the external resistance of the barbell. Depending on the strength levels of the athlete, I have seen people use 3-10% less weight on lower body exercises, due to having compress the hollow rubber columns. No one goes to the gym to get weaker.
Whether wearing the Nike Shox for running or resistance training, it’s imperative that you’re aware of the potential risk of injury and decreased athletic performance.
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