Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Running tidbits.

I found another gem of knowledge in this month's Real Simple magazine.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my Nike Frees (I could never wear Vibrams, sorry folks) but I understand what they are for... quick runs on the grass, strides, and short runs on forgiving surfaces.  When I am down on the running path by the Charles, I see people wearing Vibrams and you can hear their heels slapping the pavement from 100 feet away.  Ouch.  Not what they were intended for, buddy (and your feet look like an Avatar to boot).  Maybe I'm way off base, but I bet there will be an uptick of stress fractures and other foot-related injuries in the future due to the misuse of 'barefoot running' shoes. 

'What's up with those funky shoes that look like gloves for the feet?'
They're designed for barefoot running, a new movement that tries to replicate the unshod experience using barely-there shoes.  This practice, which borrows from indigenous peoples who don't have the luxury of the latest Nikes, supposedly strengthens the foot muscles and allows the feet to move more naturally.  But is it safe?  "If you didn't grow up running in bare feet, it's extremely risky, resulting in everything from stress fractures to arthritis," warns John Brummer, a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Assoc.  Feet not only need protection from hard, uneven surfaces but also require customized support for their unique structure.

And one more Real Simple running tidbit:

'How do I tell when I need new running shoes?'
Keep an eye on the shoe's midsole - the cushiony layer between the treads and the mesh upper.  When you notice deep-set wrinkles there (like a squashed marshmallow), it's time to say good-bye.

Interesting.  Don't you think?  What are your thoughts on barefoot running? I'll keep my barefoot running to short, quick runs where I focus on my foot strike and my stride. 


  1. I have two pairs of Nike Frees and I have definitely limited my use. I will use them mostly for cross-training and short runs. I tried using them for longer runs but the next day my feet and legs are usually in a lot of pain. I get the whole idea, but I don't think barefoot running is for me. I pronate and I really wouldn't want to risk injuring myself! I'll stick to my New Balance for running :)

  2. Barefoot running is not for me and I would never try it (then again I don't have any reason to). My Brooks Adrenaline are good for me (if it ain't broke...). I 100% agree that we are going to see a spike in stress fractures and other injuries because people are buying VFFs and completely using them improperly.

  3. I've worn a pair of flat, non-running New Balances (I don't know what they are exactly - fashion shoes?) for almost a year with no problem. I think there are people who need the support and there are people that don't.

    It's funny - my aunt sent me an article she found in the local paper that was backlash against the barefoot running thing - people saying they got injured, etc. Well, there are people who get injured all the time wearing "running" shoes. What's the difference? Find what what works for you and do it. Let everyone do what they want. If you get injured - that's part of playing sports - learn from it and adjust for yourself.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...