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Is barefoot running a good thing?

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Old 31st October 2009, 02:53 AM
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Default Is barefoot running a good thing?

Humans were created to run barefoot in order to survive We had to move camps and hunt for our food. Because concrete was invented, we needed another invention – that thing called a running shoe.

Those who advocate running barefoot can be divided into two camps:

1) Those that do it in moderation as part of a balanced running training program
2) Those that use it as a philosophy that underpins their running.

To quote this on Barefoot Running:
It is this later group I have a problem with. They are like religious zealots that are fanatical about it. They use nonsensical non-scientific mumbo jumbo to support what they do. They use any piece of evidence that is negative about running shoes as “proof” that barefoot running is better. They grasp at straws to misrepresent other research and dismiss any anti-barefoot research. They claim there is research for it, but when you look at the research, it does not support it - they misrepresent what the research is showing (...and even when you point that out to them, they continue to claim it supports them).

At the end of the day, there is not one piece of evidence that shows barefoot is even ideal, let alone beneficial. Yet do an internet search for barefoot running and look at the extraordinary range of claims being made for the benefits of it. HOWEVER, there is no evidence that it is not beneficial either. Yet the fanatical supporters of barefoot running quote a wide range of research to support their cause. When I read the reference list for the claims, not one piece of the research says what they claim it says. Trying to discuss rationally with these people is like trying to argue a religion – you never going to win that argument.
Podiatry Arena has had a number of discussions on the merits of Barefoot Running.

There is also this anti-barefoot running website that deconstructs a lot of teh argumanets made for barefoot running.
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