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Excited to start a weekly blog about all things running along the Grand Strand. The title has double meaning because we are The Black Dog Running Company and the term “Shoedog” is also an industry slang name in the running specialty market given to a veteran of the shoe industry.

I have been fortunate to work in the industry for the better part of two decades. I have worked as a sales associate, store manager and for the past five years as a store owner. During that time I have seen shoes evolve, encountered almost every shape/size variation of the human foot and overcome the toughest fits to get them in the best footwear for that person. Its not always easy, but it is always fun. I am passionate about my craft and share that enthusiasm for the perfect fit with my associates. We are not happy unless your feet are truly happy.

Both on a local and broader scale, this blog will cover a variety of topics and trends in the running community. From week to week we may touch on coaching tips, shoe reviews, stretching/strength, nutrition, race reviews, upcoming store events and so much more.

Excited to share with you my experience of working in a running store and what I have learned over many years. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” he often repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.  Like so many other things in life, there are no shortcuts for hard work and experience. Happy running.

– Daniel Brass – Chief Running Officer, Black Dog Running Company

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Episode #2: Jan 13, 2017

Welcome back to our weekly blog about all things running along the Grand Strand.  This week we are addressing the use of inserts in running/walking shoes.  The question is “To Insert or Not?”  The first question is why are you wearing the insert?  What is it’s purpose?  The answer can vary from additional support/correction, additional cushioning, lifting a certain part of the foot to relieve stress and dealing with an injury.  We have to realize that we are all experiments of one, what works for one person may or may not work for another.

We approach inserts/insoles as an potential add on if we need to supplement the cushioning and/or support of the shoes.  We don’t sell many inserts in store, because optimally the shoe should serve the purpose.  When the support is built into the shoe it generally feels more natural and comfortable.  We also want you to run in shoes that support, but allow your foot to do some of the work.  Throughout the years, I have found that too much support usually causes more issues than not having enough.  A certain degree of pronation of the foot is natural and allows us to distribute impact forces. That natural coil and spring of our legs/feet allows humans to be the best distance runners on the planet.

Our fitting philosophy is that “less is more” and inserts are generally a temporary fix.  Of course there are always exceptions and some people cannot be active without inserts, for them its a great fit.  So the bottom line is when being recommended inserts, ask why and then ask if there is a shoe standing alone that would fit the same purpose?  A little food for thought.  Happy running and see you out there : )

– Daniel Brass – Chief Running Officer, Black Dog Running Company

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