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Old 04-05-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
Jonny Blaylock
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Running Barefoot (or in "Barefoot Shoes")

First, “barefoot shoes” simulate running barefoot, which eliminates the elevated heel and arch support that almost all other shoes have.
According to Brian Colleran in a January 2010 issue of The Environmental Magazine, the elevated heels in running shoes cause injury.
Elevated heels tend to make runners land heel first while running, and according to a January 30, 2010 article in the New Scientist magazine, the impact of landing heel first while running is seven times greater than landing on the ball of your foot.
Elevated heels also cause postural compensation, which we do without really knowing it, because we’d simply fall forward otherwise. But according to Bryan Walsh in his February 2010 article in Time magazine, this puts more stress on joints such as the knee, hip and ankle than running barefoot.
However, there is also a con to barefoot running.
According to M. Fukano in his 2009 article in the Footwear Science magazine, your shinbones rotate less with running shoes than they do running barefoot.
So there is a tradeoff between joint impact versus shinbone rotation, either of which can cause pain and injury, when it comes to running barefoot versus wearing running shoes



The second point is that “barefoot shoes” condition toe-spread for natural stabilization.
Our toes are designed to spread for balance.
Look at a child’s foot, you will see that their toes sort of fan out naturally. This is because they are designed to grip the ground, distribute the weight of our impact evenly, and help stabilize us.
The barefoot shoes help condition our toes individually to spread the way they are designed to.
However, there is also a negative aspect of this.
Because most of us grew up wearing shoes, most of our feet grew into the shape of our shoe: roughly a point. So our toes don’t spread naturally.
Having the barefoot shoes condition them, or force them to spread, can be uncomfortable for the first month or so of wearing them.


Third, barefoot shoes offer essentially the same experience as running barefoot, while still providing some protection for our feet.
Because we are raised wearing shoes from the moment we can walk, our feet have sort of been pampered and are not nearly as tough as they could be.
Most of our ground surfaces are either concrete or asphalt, both of which are extremely unforgiving on bare feet. But “barefoot shoes” offer a thin layer of protection from some of those harsh surfaces.
They also protect us against elements that are unfortunately common in our streets, such as broken glass, nails, or even sharp rocks, which could seriously hurt our feet if we went completely barefoot.
However, because the barefoot shoes are meant to simulate running barefoot as closely as possible, the protection they do offer is very thin.
Even with the hard, callus-like bottom, running too far on a surface like concrete can still cause injury, so it’s best to try and find dirt trails.
Also, the top of the barefoot shoes is pretty open to the air, and small enough pebbles can sometimes work their way in easier than they would with normal running shoes, which can get very annoying on a really long run.

In conclusion, "Barefoot shoes" simulate running barefoot by eliminating the elevated heel and conditioning toe spread, while at the same time offering some protection for our feet.
Now you all know something about running in barefoot shoes too, and some of the pros and cons associated with them. What you do with that knowledge is completely up to you.

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Old 04-05-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Running Barefoot (or in "Barefoot Shoes")

You should read this wfs

http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/1...-dysfunctions/

I analyze this and sitting in more detail than the above.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:16 PM   #3
Andrew Breyer
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Re: Running Barefoot (or in "Barefoot Shoes")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
You should read this wfs

http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/1...-dysfunctions/

I analyze this and sitting in more detail than the above.
You're the man, Steven.

@OP -- Good analysis, some interesting points. I feel bad for the people I see running at the gym in $200 Nikes.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
Carlee Colt
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Re: Running Barefoot (or in "Barefoot Shoes")

I know this thread is a little old, but the concept of barefoot running is new to me. I try to run and hike about 25 miles a week, and I would like to make the transition to the barefoot shoes. I would assume this requires some kind of process. Can someone explain to me what I need to expect? I’m excited but I want to be ready for it! I have heard of one brand of barefoot shoes but I would like a review! Does anyone use that kind? Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:37 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Running Barefoot (or in "Barefoot Shoes")

wfs
http://naturalrunningcenter.com/2011...list-footwear/
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