Tuesday, March 9, 2010

more on barefoot running

the articles continue coming in about the merits or hazards of barefootness. the American Running & Fitness Association, of which i am a lifetime member and happy recipient of its newsletters, has an article in this month's Running & Fit News: http://static.americanrunning.org/fitnews/ARAfitnews_V28_1/continued2.html.  it discusses some of the books out there along with some commentary by some of its board of advisors. while it does not address some of the issues technically of importance to runners - like how to start doing so, or even why - it also does not answer the biggest question in my mind: how to run barefoot on city streets and pavements littered with shards of broken glass, nails, and other debris capable of puncturing even the best-calloused foot? granted, you can thicken the skin by constantly walking barefoot and, having done so in my past as  a martial artist, possibly endure by adaptive gait hot asphalt or small non-puncturing debris like stones and pebbles. but running on such surfaces does not offer the opportunity to avoid the many obstacles to safe barefootness. so, when all is said and done, short of running on a manicured lawn or football field or even a treadmill, barefoot running, to me, is highly dangerous and possibly not beneficial, esp for racers. the article, too, agrees. run, but make sure the shoe fits the internal - foot - mechanics and the external - road or off road - environment.

2 comments:

  1. What works for me is to run in a variety of different shoes. I use "barefoot running shoes" only when I run on a very good surface. Otherwise I use normal running shoes. It works well for me as I get to exercise different muscles depending on which shoes I wear.

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  2. right on. and that's as it ought to be - each of us should try to accommodate our own particular foot. we should avoid being swayed by the beliefs of adherents of any one brand or model or even lack thereof and experiment, on foot, on different surfaces, what works best for our particular foot/leg structures.

    run on!

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Please comment, query, or simply shout "right on".
Dr.Irv