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Updated: May 2, 2022

A Physical Therapist POV

My physical therapy senses started tingling when I saw an email from Spartan advertising the Spartan x Kane Revive shoe. I have found myself wondering if there was a better alternative out there than wearing muddy shoes after a Spartan race, or some slides that have no foot support. When you are cramping, cold, wet, muddy, and a walking blister, having a supportive post-race shoe is a niche that needs filling. Having worked with patients with various lower extremity injuries, footwear is always a hot topic that we discuss. The foot/ankle complex can play a huge role in balance, pain up the kinetic chain, and gait/postural impairments.


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Let's take a closer look.


We will break down this shoe by looking at...

  • Specs/Details from the manufacturer

  • First Impressions/Breakdown of design

  • Putting them to the test (various stressors)

  • Pros/Cons

  • Final Rating: Should you buy them?

What's so special about this shoe?

Per Spartan.com, these shoes use "the movement of the body to heal, renew and regenerate. Combining proven orthopedic principles, sustainable materials and contemporary style, SPARTAN by Kane helps you recharge naturally."


"SPARTAN by Kane is the first active recovery footwear designed for athletes"


The main specs/details of this shoe include...

  • Lightweight two-piece injection-molded sneaker

  • Dual Density BounceBack™ foam (made from Brazilian sugarcane): 100% Green EVA Foam

  • Moisture-resistant

  • Durable

  • Odor-resistant

  • Made from over 70% eco-sustainable materials

  • Spartan exclusive color: Digital Camo

  • Enhanced airflow

  • Stimulating footbeds (interior nodes to activate blood flow)

  • Price: $50 for Spartan+ members Digital Camo/$75 Kane color waves


First Impressions: Straight out of the box


These come in a cool minimalistic package, with a small bag of interchangeable hang loops.



Per specifications of the company, being a size 11.5 normally, I bought the size down (11 mens).










The soles stood out to me upon inspection, with a decent amount of traction and texture to help navigate muddy/slippery terrain.




The heel cushion was definitely prominent, with a significant amount of compliance when force was applied. This would serve to absorb shock when making heel contact during gait and assist with propulsion.










Visually out of the box, this shoe appears to address many of the design details that I would educate patients on for a post-workout type shoe.


The 10mm heel elevation allows an opportunity to decrease tension on the ankle joint, especially if you have had prior ankle injuries/developed restricted dorsiflexion (can also be due to a tight gastrocnemius-soleus complex).


The inner arch support is prominent for those that tend to have more of a pronated foot, but also serves to take up space for those that have more of a supinated foot.


Testing them out : 3 Terrain Method

I wanted to put my body (primarily my feet/ankles) through various stressors during a weekend and examine how I would feel once I put these shoes on. I decided to exercise in 3 different environments, each placing a different amount of strain through my foot/ankle. I decided to add a 50lb sandbag to all of these to make it feel more like a Spartan race. Let's look at the 3.


Environment 1: Crystal Cove State Park
































Features:

  • Hills (concentric/eccentric muscle activity)

  • Narrow paths

  • Hard dirt/compact dirt

  • 4.39 miles total

  • Largest elevation climb: 638ft


Environment 2: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook



















Features:

  • Stairs Up/Trail Down

  • Variable/Uneven stairs

  • 1.3 mile loop

  • 334ft elevation gain

  • Partially paved/dirt trail




Environment 3: Beach/Coastal



















Features:

  • Stairs

  • Soft Sand/Uneven terrain

  • Paved road/uphill











Results: Based on Kane Revive's 6 recovery features

  1. Breathes: Putting this shoe on after compressing, rubbing, and stressing my foot out from these workouts felt great. The perforations allowed substantial airflow in and cooled my foot down, allowing my muscles to start relaxing. It was a much needed feature.

  2. Stimulates: The nodes on the inside of the shoe took some time to get used to, but after about 30min, they felt like a mini-acupressure massage. They are not too raised, which I think would have made wearing the shoe for a long time more difficult. I also enjoyed having the drastic change of surface/variability in texture, as my foot was in a shoe that had a smooth insert for the entire duration of my workout.

  3. Supports: My foot definitely felt secure in the shoe, with a good wide toe box (front of the shoe to allow freedom in your toes), but had a tight instep (area above the midfoot). I noticed, with the first wear, that there was increased pressure built up around the dorsal (top) aspect of my foot (near the midfoot). Upon removing the shoe (1.5 hours of wear post workout), I noticed some pressure redness and imprints of the perforations (dissipated after a couple hours). With increased wear, this was less of a problem, as the material broke in and made it much more comfortable.

  4. Rebounds: The foam that the shoe is made with does provide a smooth transfer or weight when walking, allowing less work to be done by muscles that have been placed under the stress of a workout. I noticed a relief in my ankle stabilizer muscles while walking with the Revive, which is valuable after running on terrain that utilizes these muscle groups.

  5. Cushions: I was surprised at the amount of cushion this shoe had, since it felt more rigid when manipulating it in my hands out of the box. I think the foam does a good job supporting the foot, but being compliant enough to disperse the shock/forces of walking.

  6. Grips: The soles, with the traction features, served well when walking on concrete, grass, sand, and soil. I want to be able to test them on the muddy course of a Spartan race.


Pros and Cons

Pros

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Cons

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​Affordable ($50 with Spartan+)

Could use more Spartan colors (sprint, super, beast, ultra) vs. only Camo

Lightweight

The instep may be too tight for some, especially those with a higher arch/equinus type foot.

Offers good pressure relief

Nice attention to detail

Great airflow

Wide toe box/comfortable on the forefoot


The Final Score


As a physical therapist and obstacle course racing enthusiast, a recovery shoe needs to be able to not only allow for comfort, but have biomechanical and anatomical considerations to support the natural structure of the foot. The best features of this shoe, in my opinion, are the foam construction/cushion, wide toe box, and the lightweight design.

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Add this together with Kane's environmental/preservation model to their company and I give the Spartan x Kane Revive........













4.5/5 Goniometers


If you are a runner, hiker, or obstacle course racer, these shoes offer the necessary feature to promote recovery. I would recommend them, but keep in mind that recovery after these types of events requires much more than just a shoe (stretching, soft tissue/massage work, etc).


If you are interested in Spartan x Kane collab shoe, check out

https://www.spartan.com/products/spartan-by-kane-revive-active-recovery-shoe-unisex-digital-camo


For other Kane designs, head over to

https://kanefootwear.com/


Thank you for reading!!!

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Alex Zhidetskiy PT, DPT

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Updated: Apr 15, 2022


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What are things that pop into your mind when you hear "I need to go to physical therapy" or "My doctor recommended physical therapy"?


For me, my first introduction to physical therapy came as a result of tearing my ATFL ligament in my ankle after playing a game of basketball. I must have had too much fun on the first go around, because I made a couple more appearances in physical therapy as a result of dislocating my left..........then right ankle. My expectations of physical therapy were almost non existent at first, but I quickly began associating my experiences with massaging, stretching, exercises, and ice/TENS units.


As I progressed through graduate school, I heard countless people in the gym, clinic, and within my own family/inner circle say that they expected physical therapy to be mostly a massage, followed by a paper that you get that has clams, bridges, and some stretches to do at home. Don't let me forget the best part of the treatment, ice and that "zappy" thingy (aka TENS unit).


In this blog post, I hope to uncover the expectations that have circulated around physical therapy, but more importantly address the reality of what we do in PT.


Expectations Vs. Reality


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Expectation: A massage is always part of PT, right?


Reality: While physical therapists may utilize techniques that fall within the umbrella of massages, we consider them soft tissue mobilization, which involves assessing and treating restricted areas within muscles, tendons, ligaments, and neural mechanical restriction sites. There may be times where we start with light manual therapy to calm the the nervous system, especially when patients present with a heightened fight/flight state or have a lot of pain.


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Expectation: But I am going to do clams right?


Reality: While the clam (hip ER) exercise is a prevalent component in many PT clinics, we try to formulate exercises that are unique and specific to the needs of the patient. The best part about creating exercises is blending our fundamental knowledge of biomechanics/anatomy/physics with our individual creativity. We use our initial evaluation to find out what movements patterns need to be treated, with emphasis on the ultimate goal (being able to play with your kids, participate in golf, be able to run a marathon, etc).

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Expectation: I won't have to worry about anything once I'm done with my PT. I will do the x2/week for 6 weeks and thats it.

Reality: I always say that I'm happiest when I don't have to see my patients anymore, which means that they have become independent enough to manage their injury without my help. My goal is to provide the patient with as much knowledge/education about the variables that have caused them to suffer the specific injury/complaint that they came in with. With that in mind, I always make sure to remind them that while pain may go away, the injury or the risk of injury may remain for an extended amount of time (DON'T STOP DOING YOUR HOMEWORK).

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It's like an iceberg, where pain is the top, peaking out of the water, giving the warning that something is present. The variables in life (stress at work, increased sitting/desk work, lack of sleep, increase in new activity level, etc.) is the chunk of the iceberg that is underwater (may remain unknown to the patient). This is why it is imperative that patients that are discharged from PT continue the plan that was formatted by the physical therapy, because we have identified the submerged iceberg for you. You're welcome.


In Conclusion


As our profession evolves, I would like the expectations to match the reality of what we do. With each person that we treat and provide the utmost care and professionalism, is another voice to advocate for our profession. We should strive to treat each person in a holistic manner, taking time to educate/explain the "whys" of what we do, and set them up for success beyond discharge.


Leave a comment, like, and subscribe to stay updated on new blogs, products, and the launch of our clinic this year.


Alex Zhidetskiy PT, DPT

Wellness Tribe PT

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With the new Hypervolt GO 2 by Hyperice on the market, I wanted to share my experience/review of the Hypervolt GO (original). I have yet to try out the new GO 2, but the GO was an awesome addition to the physical therapy arsenal because it allowed patients that had difficulty managing the heavier and bulkier Hypervolt to be more comfortable/consistent with their at home tissue work. This review is meant to dive into the pros/cons of this version of the Hypervolt, as witnessed through the lens of a physical therapist.


First Impressions


Right out of the box, this massage gun is ready to go. It comes with a wall adapter/charger and 2 interchangeable heads (flat/bullet). When you first turn it on, the biggest difference from the other models is how quiet and easy it is on the hand. The ergonomic design, plus the lighter weight (1.5lbs), makes it perfect for those that have upper extremity difficulties with grasping, strength, range of motion, or other co-morbidities.


My Experience with the Hypervolt GO



The Hypervolt has always been in my toolbox of equipment, vital to maintaining my body in a functional/pain-free state. As I train for my Spartan races, the Hypervolt allows me to supplement foam rolling with a more precise form of muscle mobilization/massage. I had always wished that my original Hypervolt was more compact and lighter for me to take on the road/races. When I learned that Hyperice debuted a smaller version of my favorite massage gun, it was a no brainer to add it to the Hyperice family of products. I primarily use the Hypervolt for prehab/rehab on areas that I have identified as susceptible to injury/re-injury. When I ran my Spartan Beast this year, I left the venue with symptoms of hip bursitis, which I quickly treated with ice, rest, and using my Hypervolt to target muscles contributing to the irritation on my bursa. I was able to treat the pain and jump right back into training for my next event.


Pros and Cons

Here is a table I have created to give a brief comparison on the Hypervolt options available at this time. If you need more details check out the Hyperice website.


Specs

Hypervolt GO

Hypervolt GO2

Hypervolt 2

Hypervolt 2 Pro

Price

$159.99

$199.99

$299

$399

Weight

1.5lbs

1.5lbs

1.8lbs

2.6lbs

Speed

3 speed

3 speed

3 speed

5 speed

Power

40W

40W

60W

90W

Attachments

Flat + Bullet

Flat + Bullet

Fork, Flat, Cushion, Ball, Bullet

Fork, Flat, Cushion, Ball, Bullet

Battery Life

2.5+ hrs

3hrs

3hrs

3hrs


Pros

Lightweight: It is noticeably lighter when you compare it to the larger versions. This is great for those that have decreased hand strength or have to be careful of the amount of weight they hold due to upper extremity injuries.


Price: Now that the Hypervolt GO2 is out, the Hypervolt GO is discounted to $159.99, and that's an awesome price for this device.


Ergonomics: The design of the Hypervolt GO has a slightly angled handle, which feels really secure and comfortable in the hand.


Design: I really like the sleek design and it is definitely a conversation starter.

Cons



The Final Score


Being a physical therapist, it's imperative to have massage guns as tools in my tool bag, because performing muscle techniques with only my hands can lead to early injuries that may affect my ability to work in orthopedics. I look for a massage gun that fits this role within my professional life and also in my personal life. Because of the extra power, attachments, and longer battery life, I use the original Hypervolt in the clinic. When it comes to personal use, I love the Hypervolt GO, especially when traveling. I would recommend the Hypervolt GO for people that have restrictions/difficulties with grip/weight of more bulky devices. The GO serves its role well and provides a cost effective alternative to other options on the market. P.S. Hyperice is a great company that is very responsive to questions/concerns and puts out a consistently solid product that has made my life in/out the clinic easier.


I give the Hypervolt GO...........

4.5 Goniometers out of 5



If you are interested in the Hypervolt GO2, Hypervolt 2, or the Hypervolt 2 Pro check out Hyperice.com .


Thank you for reading, leave a comment/share your experiences with massage guns, and please subscribe to our newsletter for up to date content!

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(Bears, Beets, Best massage gun)

Alex Zhidetskiy PT,DPT

IG: @WellnessTribePT














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