Barefoot running: (Almost) all you need to know
There are two absolute must read articles about the idea of (semi-) barefoot running, and how this emerging trend is influencing the athletic shoe industry.
The first is a story by Tyghe Trimble in Popular Mechanics about “the running shoe debate“:
A group of running rebels are shedding their shoes and reporting years of injury-free miles. Some ultramarathoners, biomechanics experts and doctors think that’s probably a good thing. Others go so far as to say running shoes are in fact causing injuries. Meanwhile, running shoe companies continue to precisely measure runners, and pound and flex shoes in their high-tech labs. Could shoes—and shoe companies—be covering hundreds of thousands of perfectly able bare feet? If shoes are doing damage, just what are the companies measuring?
The second article is by “lifestyle design” expert Tim Ferriss (he of “The 4-Hour Workweek” fame), who posted an incredibly interesting and knowledge-rich review of Vibram FiveFingers shoes. His article, “The Barefoot Alternative,” also explains the anatomical science of the human foot, and provides links to resources to learn more about Chi Running and the Pose Method of Running.
I myself have been running in Nike’s contribution to the almost-barefoot revolution, the Free 3.0, for over two years. When I made the switch into these glove-like slippers, my once-chronic knee and shin pains disappeared immediately. And for those with concerns about wearing something that seems so antithetical to the “ideal” running shoe (or at least as we have been led to believe), worry not! I have run multiple marathons in my Nike Free’s without any skeletal or muscular discomfort. Further, of the many dozens of people whom I have convinced to trade-in their stabilizing and cushioned athletic trainers, every single one of them swears by these svelte foot-covers as the cause for their faster race times and painless running experiences.
As much as I have enjoyed the Nike Free line of shoes, I think it may be time to be even more… Free. I just placed my order for Vibram FiveFingers. After a few months of running in them, I’ll post my own review.
Entry filed under: play. Tags: 4-Hour Workweek, barefoot alternative, barefoot running, chi running, ideal running shoe, J. R. Atwood, Jason Atwood, Nike, Nike Free, Popular Mechanics, pose method, reviews, running, running shoe debate, running shoes, Tim Ferriss, Vibram, Vibram FiveFingers, Vibram KSO.