Disclosure: I was given a pair of ShoeCue insoles free to review on the site. Opinions are always my own. There are some affiliate links in this post which may throw a few pennies my way. Thanks!
There’s always a lot of debate when it comes to running form, right? Heel vs. mid vs. forefoot strike. Make changes or leave it alone. Everybody has an opinion, right?
I feel I am more efficient as a mid-foot striker. When I first started running, I naturally ran with a mid-foot landing. Then I started to run with a group and for a while, I felt like “Oh! I’m the only one not landing on my heel. Maybe I am supposed to?” (Silly novice thoughts.) So I kind of changed my form to land on my heel… I ended up with knee pain. It was a crazy change and shortly thereafter the minimal/barefoot movement started to gain traction and I realized that my midfoot strike was fine.
In my experience as a running coach, if somebody has chronic issues when running it is worth making a change. You don’t have to live with shin splints, knee pain, hip pain, etc. forever. If you are running fine without issues, you are probably fine to leave your form as it is. But if you really want to improve your performance, sometimes form tweaks can help improve your efficiency.
When I was offered a pair of ShoeCue insoles to review, at first I was kind of indifferent on the idea. My reaction was “Not another pair of arch supports” or something like that. But once I learned a little more about what they were and their purpose, I was game to try. They actually fall in line exactly with the way I like to test and try new running gear, they are made to be a training tool and not a crutch of sorts.
ShoeCue insoles have little nubs in the heel designed to give you a gentle reminder that you are landing on your heels as you stride. It’s not painful, it’s just a little bit of added awareness to your movement… aka Proprioception!
So how do you get started running with ShoeCue? You need to take the stock insoles that came with your shoes out.
- Line the heels of your insoles up with the heels on the ShoeCue inserts.
- Draw a line to follow along where your insoles go, then cut the ShoeCue so they match up.
- Slide the ShoeCue into your shoes.
It’s easy to cut the ShoeCue. Depending on the size you ordered you’ll have just a little bit to shave off or your trim will be a little more substantial. For example mine, I had to trim off a good chunk otherwise the ShoeCue would have never fit into my shoe.
Slide the ShoeCue into your shoe and you’re ready to set off on a run. Curious how it feels? Afraid it will be painful?
I found it a little annoying at first when walking around, because you naturally heel strike more when walking. But since I am a mid-foot striker while I run, I didn’t even notice them while running. They’re fairly gentle in their nudging, but if you are more of a heel striker you may find an adjustment period where your calves get sore.
These aren’t just for running, you can use them for gym workouts too. Take the squat, for example, some people don’t balance their weight equitably across the forefoot and heel. If you are leaning too far forward or too far back, you may not be working the muscles properly and potentially setting yourself up for injury. Slipping the ShoeCue into your gym shoes can be good for paying attention to form on strength training exercises.
I thought I was fairly innovative when I thought of the idea of using them for standing cues. I stand at my desk all day, and I know that people (myself included) often don’t stand with their weight in the 4 “corners” of their feet. In yoga, we have mountain pose and while it seems like it’s “just standing” it is actually a pretty powerful pose if you focus your energy on spreading your toes and using your entire foot as your foundation. So I thought using the ShoeCue to remind myself of this while at my desk was brilliant. Turns out, the ShoeCue folks think this is a good idea as well! I doubt I’ll do that all the time since I usually wear yoga sandals at my desk, or I just remain barefoot. The perks of telecommuting!
They’re not the cheapest insoles you’ll find, retailing for $34.99 on the ShoeCue website or on Amazon.