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Old 02-23-2007, 05:23 PM   #1
James Hull
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NYC  NY
Posts: 29
Hey all,
I just found an interesting blog post about running shoes and how their cushion/shock absorption cause more running injuries... it cites several journal articles.

The premise is that the shock absorption system causes your nerves to send inaccurate messages about the type and condition of the experienced impact. Whereas, if you were not wearing shoes, all those complicated nerves would be telling your brain about the impact you are experiencing much more acturately.

Here's an excerpt:
"The system responds by landing harder in an attempt to compress the cushion and 'feel' the ground. The weight is then transferred to the outside edge of the foot, completely by-passing the skin of the arch. The heel then touches down and the weight is transferred to the ball again with final push-off through the toes. While the weight is being transferred, the arch carries out its function as the suspension system of the foot and flattens under the active control of the intrinsic muscles. The ankle, knee and hip joints flex to absorb impact in response to information flowing in from the foot. The cushioned midsole of the modern running shoe robs the system of important sensory information necessary for ankle, knee and hip response to impact. The arch support (or orthotic) in modern running shoes not only prevents the arch suspension system from absorbing energy by preventing flattening but eventually leads to intrinsic muscle atrophy and complete loss of active muscular control of the arch leaving only the inelastic plantar fascia as a checkrein to flattening. The barefoot runner's 'foot position awareness sense' which relies heavily on sensory input from the sole of the foot minimizes his risk of sustaining an ankle sprain on uneven ground. The shod runner is at marked increased risk of ankle sprains because his 'foot position awareness sense’ is handicapped by the paucity of sensations coming from his soles."

It concludes that you should run barefoot a couple times a week to help prevent injury...

Here's the link.

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Old 02-23-2007, 08:39 PM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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Location: Atlanta  GA
Posts: 1,566
I agree....those spring loaded shoes are doing more long term harm than good.

Running barefoot (on grass) will show the natural stride you should won't heel strike like you do with padded shoes.
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