Dennis Savellano: Another Option in Getting a Better Running Form

Related Article: Pasalubong: Running / Outdoor Gears from Cebu, Philippines

Dennis Savellano are one of the frequent weekend runners in Cebu. He can be a very familiar face because aside from meeting him on the streets running, he’s one of the people you would engage with in Dailymile. You can also read updates from him via his blog, IT’S SHAW TIME!

Dennis Savellano, when he became an ultra warrior (Photo by Reynan Opada)

Dennis Savellano, when he became an ultra warrior (Photo by Reynan Opada)

Dennis Savellano believes that staying healthy and fit is one way of honoring God with our body. Following is a short Q&A with him about KAI running sandals.

Runroo: What running shoes were you using when you started running?

Dennis: My wife gifted me a Mizuno Wave Inspire 6 in Apr 2010 when I started running. Based on website, I’m flat-footed, had a ‘valgus’ leg axis (knock knee), a heel striker, heel pronator, has poor flexibility on my right ankle joint due to abnormal biomechanics of my musculoskeletal system and my right knee internally rotates when I run. Thus the recommendation was that I need a motion control with moderate to maximum cushioning running shoes. I thought the shoe was the best for my situation.

Runroo: What made you switch to KAI sandals?

Dennis: I switched to Kai Running Sandals in May 2011. I was training for my first marathon (supposedly Kawasan Fall Marathon 2011) when my knees and feet continue to hurt. I thought it was my shoes because at that time, it already logged 400km.

I also thought I need to correct my form. I tried to practice mid-foot strike running but I can’t get it right. The thick cushion of my running shoes will unconsciously revert me back to heel striking as I get tired every workout.

I researched about barefoot running and got convinced. The blogs written by Cebuano runners Boying Milan, Jacob Ong, John Francis Kho, Dr. Marc Viacrucis and Dr. Reel Bontol were some of the articles I read. My objective was to improve my running form, engage my core muscles, and land consistently on my mid-foot in order to prevent injuries. Not that I’m saying running with shoes won’t make a runner achieve these goals. It just so happened that I’m hurting and searching for other options.

I’m also aware that the streets are not clean. So I decided to try minimalist running instead of full barefoot. Since I love to wear slippers, I chose Kai.

Runroo: How-to tips on transitioning to minimalist footwear like KAI sandals?

Dennis: During my first two months of using Kai, I actually got injured. I thought I overdid my transition because the sandals felt so light that I wanted to improve my speed and distance right away, resulting into a swollen right foot and one month of no running. When I was cleared to run again by my physician, I concentrated on correcting my running form, instead of speeding up and running longer. The result was great and I never had a major injury ever since.

My advice is to take it short and slow during transition period, giving your feet and body enough time to adjust. Transition period maybe one week or one month or more. You just have to be patient and use it as often as possible.

One of the problem I faced is my feet hurts during landing. Running in correct form (this video helped me a lot —> somehow eased the pain. Another challenge I faced is developing blisters under the knot areas. Applying petroleum jelly on those areas before running solved the problem.

I also thought the tying technique is crucial. I had a different way of tying in order to support what I felt needed reinforcement on my feet. There are many available tying techniques in the internet. Find the one that makes you comfortable.

Dennis and G6 runners of Cebu, Philippines

Dennis and G6 runners

Related Article: Pasalubong: Running / Outdoor Gears from Cebu, Philippines

2 Responses to Dennis Savellano: Another Option in Getting a Better Running Form

  1. Jacob 10 January, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Thanks Runroo and Dennis! 🙂


  1. Newbie’s Trail Running Tips to Newbies (Part 1) | Running stories in Cebu and around Philippines - Runroo - 3 March, 2014

    […] Your minimalist footwear will do if you’re used to it, like Dennis Savellano in his Kai sandals enjoying the trails of Lilo-an, Cebu. Kai Running sandal is huarache-inspired footwear from Cebu, Philippines (To order and more info, check You can read on the Dennis Savellano’s story about his shoe switch here >>. […]

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