Saturday, February 5, 2011

Barefoot/minimal running BS

I got an email from somewhere advocating five reasons to run in a barefoot style foot contraption (I can't bring myself to call it a shoe or foot glove).  Here are five reasons not to:

You are chubby
You run on pavement and asphalt from your house
You run on singletrack or off-road
You pronate or supinate
You over-stride
You did not grow up running barefoot to get to school or away from hungry lions and blood-drinking llamas

That is really six reasons but you can combine two or three of them into one super-reason.

Professionally I see way more runners becoming injured running in these things than those getting some sort of benefit. The injured ones then frequently blame the injury on something not the fault of the shoe.  Don't believe the hype.  If you want to run barefoot do it for short distances on the beach or soft soccer field.  Leave the rest to people who are shaped much differently than 80% of you.


Gloria Crook said...

I love barefoot running but I just can't stand it when I run for 30 minutes. My feet always get hurt no matter what. I don't really know the problem, but when I wear barefoot running shoes everything goes well. I'm wearing Vibram Five Fingers and Shockwa and I love it. No more foot problems whatsoever. In fact, there's one study that shows running with your own barefoot and running with barefoot running shoes don't really have much of a difference. Read the article here.

Unknown said...

Marty... I couldn't agree more! I mean, I understand the benefits of running barefoot, and if it works for someone... great. I did listen to a lecture on barefoot running one time, it was really interesting. The guy stressed how important it was to transition gradually... I think too many people overlook that! I just wish they would publish more studies showing the downside of running barefoot to balance out all of the hype (aka the increased number of patients that physical therapists, orthopedists, etc. are seeing from those who either rushed into it or don't have the biomechanics to warrant such a move).

boz said...

But here's one good reason in favor: Cuz it's the next new thing! Boobus is always lookin' for a flock to join.

Ameer said...

Yeah a lot of company seems to love the idea of running barefoot or (giving the same feelings to be exact). Five fingers, New balance minimus, Nike has one I don't remember the name. So it's the current trend.