Shoes Don’t Come Cheap


Thanks to the popularity of this muddy fun we call a sport, shoe manufacturers have stepped into the free market to feel a niche with shoes they claim are designed to optimize our performance on the course. I have no doubt that more than a few of these brands actually do help, but this isn’t about product endorsement here; not today. Instead, let’s talk about hanging on to that investment in expensive footwear.

I’m sure we’ve all seen this sight at every big boggy mud hole on practically  every course, a stray shoe or two semi-submerged here and there given up by some hapless runner. For every abandoned shoe you see there are ten more that were sucked off of the foot, tugged out of the mud, squished back onto the foot and then back into the race.

Now, I myself, and my wife have (thus far) run every single event in the same pair of shoes; never had one come off. I attribute our astounding shoe-keeping powers to three things…

ONE–Luck. I would not be surprised that if in the very next event I lose both shoes right out of the gate. We can never rule out luck–good or bad.

TWO–Double-Knotting. It’s exactly what it sounds like, once you tie your standard bow-knot we all learned as children, grasp the loops and repeat the process one more time. Pull knot #1 tight, and then do the same with knot #2.

THREE–Tying Your Shoes on the Transverse. Believe it or not, you can predict, more often than not, who will lose their knots.  You can tell which shoes are susceptible to coming untied simply by looking at their knots. This little prediction test works whether someone is in a race or simply walking in the mall.

Take a gander at their shoes and see which way the ends of the bow are facing.

Facing towards the toe and ankle? Greater chance of coming untied.

Ends of the bow facing towards the inside and outside of the foot—the transverse position)? Increased odds of keeping that shoe knotted.

If you check out your own knot-tying and you naturally tie on the transverse, you’re good to go. If not, re-orient to the transverse on the initial knot and the double-knot, pull both of these tightly and welcome yourself to snug shoe territory.

If for some reason you do not naturally tie on the transverse and your brain simply  can’t wrap itself around how to re-orient (don’t sweat it, it happens) have a look at the TED Talk by Terry Moore and he’ll walk you through it in under three minutes.

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Mark Hatmaker
Mark Hatmaker is the bestselling author of the MMA Mastery series, the No Holds Barred Fighting series, Boxer's Bible of Counterpunching, Boxer's Book of Conditioning & Drilling, Boxing Mastery, and No Second Chance. He has produced more than 40 instructional videos and he has extensive experience in the combat arts including boxing, wrestling, Jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai. A highly regarded coach of professional and amateur fighters, law enforcement officials, and security personnel, he is also the founder of Extreme Self Protection, a research body that compiles, analyzes, and teaches the most effective Western combat methods known. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.


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