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EricaH

realization about shoes

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I came to a realization the other day about the type of shoes I wear while jumping. I use to always wear tevas or chacos - i loved the wind on my toes, keen's always seemed so closed in. I know a lot of people who jump in sandals, some even in flip flops and even a few die hard bare footers.

Sorry for the long backstory....

One day in 2006 I was landing off on a gravel road & fell down, I literally ground a hole in the top of my foot and now have a very nice dark 1/2 dollar (US $) scar. At the time a good friend (highly experienced successful full time skydiver who's input is greatly valued) said some silly statement about the fact that everyone should wear full covering shoes for jumping. Just as soon as it got cold I followed his advice.

Fast forward to 2007 season, i'd gotten use to wearing tennis shoes by this time & while I really REALLY missed the wind on my toes I continued to follow my friend's advice. Every now & then I would contemplate wearing my chacos again - but since they were all the way in my trailer I didn't. About 2/3 the way through season i had another off landing and fell down, this time on asphalt - unfortunately this time it was worse, I destroyed my ACL & tore the MCL. i've complained a few times about the resulting huge gash in my jumpsuit and more about the tar & rocks ground into the boc on my rig, into my jumpsuit and into my shoes. I loved those pink & white shoes - they were light weight & breathable.

Yesterday I was going through our gear sorting it out for this year's season & I came across those tennis shoes, one almost destroyed & the other pretty mangled and it hit me. If i had been wearing sandles all that tar & all those stones would have been ground into my foot. I'm pretty sure one whole side would have been ground off one of my feet & probably a little toe too. All my gear has been fixed & cleaned - though a foot would be much more difficult to replace.

So, thankfully this tread is not to dissect my bad-off-dz landings (i've done that i promise!). But rather to hopefully make some people think a bit more about the footwear they chose. In my sandals I've landed in corn & in beans, stood up & fallen down on gravel & asphalt and it's all been fine. I'm not the only one out there that's done it & gotten away with it. most people just consider that sandals would suck if they landed in deep dirt or corn or something... but what about when it really goes wrong.

anyway just thought i'd share my realization. Again, sorry for the length.

There is no can't. Only lack of knowledge or fear. Only you can fix your fear.

PMS #227 (just like the TV show)

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Heck yeah. After a swoop dragging my feet through the stickers, I quit wearing sandals. If the lesson wouldn't have been learned the first time, my feet would have probably been messed up another time or 2. Pulling out the stickers was bad enough... Damn that itched.

A few other folks messed up their toes and such wearing sandals. The one that kept wearing sandals messed his up again the following season.

Glad to hear you have your off landing syndrome taken care of.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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Hi Erica,

How are you and Peter?

I used to wear sandals or nothing, until one day when I followed a free bag in Florida. It wasn't terrible walking out but thinking about all the snakes bugged me a lot.

Shoes ever since.

Keith

''Always do sober what you said you would do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.'' - Ernest Hemingway

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I'll add to that. I used to wear skate type shoes. Then I hurt my heel and in an effort to reduce pain and improve healing my friend suggested cross trainers or running shoes. Well not only did it help, but my lower back hurts alot less frequently now.
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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Riding motorcycles for yrs taught me that you dress for the fall, not for the ride. Hence LEATHER. I know that we won't be wearing leather jumpsuits for skydiving but the theory is the same. Jumpsuits. shoes, gloves and a helmet will take up alot of the "roadrash." A couple yrs ago I had to do a fast downwind landing and it was like jumping out of the back of a moving truck. After my PLF I had some nasty gouges in my bonehead. Those gouges could've been in my head.


I may be getting old but I got to see all the cool bands.

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I'll add to that. I used to wear skate type shoes. Then I hurt my heel and in an effort to reduce pain and improve healing my friend suggested cross trainers or running shoes. Well not only did it help, but my lower back hurts alot less frequently now.



Hmm.. interesting. I wear skate shoes every day and of course, to jump with. I have some issues with my lower back. I'll have to try some running shoes!

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Wow, with so many people having the same experience, it seems like a kinda under-covered topic. Granted no where near the necessity level of canopy training or exit separation:D, but something could be mentioned at some point. When I was a student I kept asking when I could wear sandals – no one ever discouraged me. I got a few people warning that it could hurt, but never a “you could lose a toe” type story.

So many of those stories give me the shivers!!! :SDave, all I can say is OMG!!! That is ridiculous.B|:|

JP interesting about going with trainers rather than skate shoes, I would have thought the exact opposite. I know skate shoes have more side support for longer ware while trainers have more base support ment for harder impact but shorter wear time.

Rover – dang! Extreme but I guess a good policy to have.

E – heya, will YOU be at safety day?B| I don’t think I’m going to bring this up though.

Kallend – the people I think of as die hard could have been on that jump, I love the pic & wish we didn’t need to think of a potentially bad landing so we could enjoy the freedom of toes in the air. But the ground does bite!

There is no can't. Only lack of knowledge or fear. Only you can fix your fear.

PMS #227 (just like the TV show)

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They won't offer the same protection as more "serious" shoes, but there are bunches of light weight mesh shoes around. Since there's really not much to them you do get quite a bit of airflow, but you still can't really wiggle your toes under canopy with anything on.

At least you'll won't know what your missing;). (sorry)

There is no can't. Only lack of knowledge or fear. Only you can fix your fear.

PMS #227 (just like the TV show)

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As a self proclaimed master of the crash landing, I agree that the right shoes can really help. I switched to a brand called Air Speed, which are made for skateboarding. These shoes have a flat bottom, and thickly padded tongue, and I really like them. I have given up my fantasy of jumping barefoot or with flip flops. Most of my landings now are not bad, and could probably be done with bare feet, but every now and then it just wouldn't work. Torn up feet = no jumps. No thanks.
But what do I know?

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Kallend – the people I think of as die hard could have been on that jump,



I'm sure you recognize some of us, and the jumpsuits and rigs of some of the others are a bit of a giveaway.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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I'm sure you recognize some of us, and the jumpsuits and rigs of some of the others are a bit of a giveaway.



OH yes... I see a Stunts Factory Pilot neon blue Eclipse from about 1998???? Of course, it's Shoobi. The army rigs don't ring a bell though.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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One year at rantoul i landed on the runway (one they weren't using) and tore my shoe laces up. Had i been barefoot or wearing sandals it would've been very painful. Luckily, my foot was uninjured. I always wear gym shoes when i jump....well except for the time Val knocked my gym shoe off at 12,000ft. :P

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meow

I get a Mike hug! I get a Mike hug!

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JP interesting about going with trainers rather than skate shoes, I would have thought the exact opposite. I know skate shoes have more side support for longer ware while trainers have more base support ment for harder impact but shorter wear time.



And it reflects it in that I've got to replace the running shoes more often. When I get into competitive swooping again, I will surely go back to wearing "skate" style shoes, with a smoother tread pattern as the running shoes don't allow for a safe "slide". But for tandems and day to day jumping, well my back, knees and feet are thanking me.:)
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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I liked wearing my 12 loop Dr Martins because I felt they gave me more ankle support and protected my feet. They only had shoe lace grommets, no hooks or snag points. I wore them until mid AFF and then bought a pair of Airwalks after hearing/reading incidents where someone had to kick off a shoe. They're pretty comfortable but I've had a couple mysterious bruises and broken toe nails after a day at the DZ so I might be looking into something a little more sturdy.

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