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Chung Shi Shoes

 
 
Chai
 
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 06:22 am
Has anyone here had any personal experience with them?

I'm going to be looking into buying a pair. Haven't even tried a pair on yet.


Chung Shi's are an athletic shoe that is supposed to assist in muscle use alignment, and balance. While wearing them, it's supposed to work your core muscles and assist you in maintaing proper balance and posture.

As some of you know, I'm finishing up a series of 10 Rolfing sessions (structural intergration) and it has done marvelous things for my entire body. As the weather cools here, I'm looking forwards to walking the trails, and would like to be able to properly use my body during all activities.

These shoes are pretty pricey ($250 and up), but, I just received a $50 visa gift card, and got a refund check from somewhere for $100, so, I'm thinking of splurging on myself for once.

Anyone?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 16,012 • Replies: 76
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 04:12 pm
Personally (being a former runner) I think it's another one of a series of over-hyped fads. A well made premium running, walking or athletic shoe that suits your particular running gait (pronation or supination) will suffice for exercise.

There are some quite excellent premium athletic shoes for half the price.

While this shoe corrects with an "unique uneven sole to encourage the correct walking gait," it can create a problem as your walking gait has been established as a habit for many years. It can cause the wearer imbalance as the body attempts to adjust to the "walking uphill".

From a product comparison survey comes this warning:"...Cramp and numbness reported to have developed on occasions."

http://www.lovethoseshoes.com/InfoAdvice/WhichTrainer.asp

Here's another thing to ponder: if you walk at all in high heel shoes then you would be in effect defeating the therapeutic effects of the time spent in these "miracle shoes".

Before I'd invest my hard-earned cash in a shoe that is double the cost, I'd see a Sports Orthopaedist and see whether or not I could benefit from a custom-made orthotic. That will help out far better than a fancy new shoe that is made for the mass consumer market. In fact, a shoe that claims to correct your gait could potentially even hurt your running/walking gait. That is what sports Orthopaedist are there for -- to advise you and make life easier for your exercise regimen-- preventing injuries and pain.

From a Chung-shi web marketing site:

"Level one is the COMFORT range design with a 15% angle which is more suitable for beginners or people with joint and back problem and because of the styling of the shoes could be worn all day for work.

Level two is the Balance Step range which has a 20% angle and feel more extreme really working the muscles harder suitable for power walking and improving body tone and fitness levels."

Wow...that's a big incline. I'd ask the advice of an Orthopaedist, for sure!

Furthermore it states: "recommend that the shoes are only worn for approximately 20 minutes a day, gradually building up until you can wear them for longer periods. At first the shoes do feel a little strange and the reflexology bar can feel quite pronounced, however it is amazing how quickly the body can adapt and they soon feel quite natural. "

If it felt really natural, it would feel good right away. Is this common sense? Your body can also adapt to pain quickly, too.

Many people tried to adapt their bodies to the "negative heel technology" in those 1970s "Earth Shoes". Some folks caused lots of trips to the doctor as people caused themselves pain CREATING a gait problem where there wasn't one --- making adjustment of the "natural" alignment .

If you want to try the negative heel technology at half the price the current "Earth Energetics" seems to garner positive comments:

"...their {mbt and Chung-shi shoes} over two-hundred-dollar price tag, plus the fact that some reviewer said Earth shoes had the same negative heel technology for a much lower price, convinced me to buy a pair of Earth Energetics. I put them on the afternoon they were delivered. I must admit that it took a bit of getting used to as it felt as though I was walking uphill. Luckily, that passed quickly and I began using them while on the treadmill the next morning. I now walk two miles every single day in them and that is with my treadmill fully inclined. I love the Earth shoes so much that I bought several other styles for every day wear. I have had a problem knee in the past and found that wearing the Earth shoes seemed to prevent the occasional flare-up of pain and swelling I used to get if I overdid it. I recently ordered my second pair of Energetics as I had put hundreds of miles on that first pair, and I read somewhere that you should replace your athletic shoes after 500 miles."

Take the advice of a guy who has experienced knee and back problems and was helped immensely by custom made orthotics and a good Orthopedic MD's checkups.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 05:07 pm
I've never been a real runner, but did jog for years, and strongly agree with Ragman. I'm a fan of the runners world website on shoes (back with a link, it's probably laying about somewhere) and sozobe, while I remember she liked that well enough, found some site to be even better re matching shoes to your feet.

I speak as someone who could barely walk after a trip where I walked a lot in San Francisco for several days - I remember it being wretched to just step off a curb - went immediately to an orthopedist after I got home to LA, and he said "see this arch"? and told me all about it, relative to my battered feet that had been slapping on concrete. That was back in the very early seventies, when running was taking off as a sport. If they had women's running shoes then, they weren't present in my neck of the woods. Following his advice, I bought a pair of the smallest men's Adidas, and my feet were "cured" - they had great arch support plus reasonable cushioning. I started to follow running, even as I just jogged, and read about feet...

I'm hoping the LA Times follows the NY Times and makes its old articles free - there was a series of something like nine articles a year or two ago that were very informative about many aspects on The Foot.

On the other hand, you may have nice medium normal feet and these shoes you are talking about would be fine for you.
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 05:38 pm
BTW, even people with healthy "normal" feet (whatever that is) can benefit from a custom made pair of orthotics and a visit to Sports Orthopaedist -- especially if you're going to be doing walking or running as a regular means of exercise.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 05:39 pm
I know, Chai, that your interest may not be in running shoes - but this site has some handy info on feet. Once you get see where your feet fit, that may help to see if these special shoes you are speaking about will work with them.

http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/shoelabshoefinder/0,7154,s6-240-325-329-0-0-0-0-0,00.html

about pronation...
http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/shoefinder_description/1,,s6-240-325-329-0-0-0-0-0,00.html
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 05:47 pm
It helps when picking out the right shoes to find out if your feet toe-in or tow-out (laterally) -- supinate or pronate. That way you can choose the right shoe as some shoes benefit one type of gait tendency over the other.

The simplest way to determine this (your individual way of wearing and walking/running in shoes) is to examine an old pair of running shoes and check the wear pattern. Excessive wear on the inside of the front part of the shoe indicates over pronation, such wear on the outside of the front of the shoe indicates supination.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 05:53 pm
similar comment... what I used to call supination is now called underpronation, at least on my link.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 06:09 pm
Same difference. Supination = under pronation.

Try not to get too hung up on figuring out terminology as a well-versed athletic shoe store (not often a Foot Locker or typical mall store) will be able to advise you by looking at the wear pattern on your shoes or a well-worn pair of running shoes and advise you accordingly.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 06:29 pm
Reading all of your posts with interest.

No, I've never enjoyed running. I'm more of a rowing, elliptical, walking on the trails person.

One thing ragman I'd like to mention to you, which may make a difference in how I feel in the shoes....

In reading all the info I could, and also reading reviews of buyers, both the people who loved them and one who actually said it caused her to fall over because she couldn't balance on them (and broke an ankle or something) I have given the following conditions and knowledge I have consideration.....Hope you aren't bored.....

As I mentioned above, I'm going into my 9th out of 10 rolfing sessions this Friday. I'm at the point where every muscle in my body has been worked on, and these last couple of sessions will work on more fully intergrating everything together (although each session is incorporated into the body, and what has already been done). In fact, I may take a break for a few weeks, but I've discussed with my rolfer and we both agree I would benefit from another session or two working specifcally on my chest/neck area, as my chest is my far the most tightly bound up part of me, and my neck has always been a suseptible area for problems...

What does all this have to do with the shoes?

Well, without boring you further, my body right now is in the best state it's been in, in I don't know how long, maybe ever. The purpose of rolfing is to open up the muscle from the fascia, and if I told you all the changes it's made in my posture, flexibility and in my core, you might think I'm embellishing. But I'm not. My ankles, knees, hips, torso, shoulders, neck and head are all in this straight, strong, balanced line. My center of gravity going down my legs are support equally by my entire foot, not leaning back, or forward, or to the sides. In fact, leaning on on foot, like you see people do, is not very comfortable.

Anyway, pilates exercise, as we all know, work on the core too. However, I could never do those exercises properly, because my body wasn't aligned, and I couldn't make the movements in a proper way...In one review, it was said that the wearing the Chung Shi's was like "a pilates class in a shoe" because of the way the shoe is built, it makes you stand with your weight in the proper area...anyway, looking at it from that view, I would think that someone who is all out of whack would find it very uncomfortable, because you'd be standing in a way that is making your bound up muscle, being held in the improper position by your fascia, try to go into the proper place, but it would be unable to.

I'm thinking, (and mind you, I'm only thinking) that if your muscles are opened up and where they should be, these shoes would just allow you to stand in the way you want to when you're barefoot anyway. (No, I don't wear heels)

One of the things these shoes were recommended for was for people who have, I can't remember or say the medical term, but basically screwed up fascia in their feet.

One thing I have learned is that your feet are the base for every other muscle in your body. If they aren't standing properly, you may feel it in the stranges place, and not even realize it's related to your foot. My feet are opened up, and the shoe is made to open up your foot, so....to me it makes sense.

I'm not going to rush right out tonight and buy them, and I am going to go back and reread both of your posts more carefully.

However, when I see Sandy my rolfer this Friday, I'm going to take any info I've gathered and show her, to get her opinion, and to find out if she's heard anything. She's been doing this for something like 20 years, and is an RN also, and knows every muscle, tendon, bone and ligament in my body intimately by this time, and over time, and because of what she's done for me, I put a lot of store in her opinion. If I bought them, I would take them to her, and have her evaluate them with me wearing them, to see if I'm standing, walking properly in them.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 06:37 pm
oh, ragman....what you said about "it should feel natural right away"....oh yes, definately, I agree!!

If I put them on and they didn't good right from the get go...off they would come!!!
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 06:44 pm
There's a New Balance shoe store at Santana Row in San Jose where my wife and her friends purchased shoes. They have a consultant that helps you fit your shoes, and tells you about the different pros and cons of the different shoe styles, and what they're for. I also buy New Balance and Rockports because they are comfortable, and I can walk in them all day without any pain or discomfort.

I love walking, and sometimes will walk over ten miles in one day.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 06:50 pm
Yeah c.i.

I must have inherited a "walking" gene from my grandmother.

When she was in her 70's, I'd be driving a few miles from the house and come upon her taking a stroll.

I'd say, "Granma, get in, I'll drive you the rest of the way home"

She always just wave her hands at me, like...shoo! shoo!
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 06:50 pm
I believe some of us have seen you....








.................. from the back, amid a cloud of dust.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 06:53 pm
plantar fascitis...
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 07:13 pm
Yeah!

That's it.

Sounds oogy.

http://www.comfortshoe.com/planta1.jpg
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 07:16 pm
My type of feet are less likely to get that, or so I remember. Which is just as well..
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 07:39 pm
My physical therapist agrees with Ragman on that negative heel (Earth Shoe), from the stand point of gait, and adds that they may be great for the feet, they are bad for the back.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Sep, 2007 05:34 pm
Well, this Friday I go to see Sandy, so I thought "What the heck" and went over to try a pair of these shoes on. I figured if they felt all right, I could buy them, take them to her before the weekend, and get her opinion. If I didn't like them, well, so I know what they're like.

The guy fits me, I put them on, and stand up.

Weird. The first couple of seconds, I couldn't decide how to stand. Either foward on the ball, or back on the heel. I know I'm supposed to stand right in the middle though....so, I shifted a little, and then, I was balancing on some place in between. Kinda rocking back and forth slightly, but it was....interesting.

Then, I started to walk, 2 steps, no more than 3, and I let out this audible..."ohhhh......"

I felt my spine pull up and straighten, taking the weight off of, well, somewhere else I can describe.

Continuing to walk, I said "oh yeah....that's it...that's it"

Then, we went outside and walked up and down the sidewalk of the shopping center at a brisk pace. It felt different outside, a little, but I think that's almost phychological, like "I'm outside wearing these shoes I don't own...I'm checking them out...."

Anyway, I went and bought them, and will let everyone know Friday what Sandy sez.

Frankly, I'd be disappointed if she found fault in them. Maybe we wear the same size, and she can try them on.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Sep, 2007 06:09 pm
<shrug> Confused
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Sep, 2007 06:14 pm
why shrug?
 

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