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Miami Herald Article & My Comments

This post is going to sound very negative and sarcastic, but I am just tired of reading the same crap either intended to hype up barefoot running or make people who run barefoot sound like idiots or band-wagon jumpers.  Here is a link to the article that came across my inbox yesterday.  http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/07/11/2309625/barefoot-running-it-can-be-great.html

The title seemed encouraging. NOT.

True, running barefoot can be great.  The first time you try it tends to be exhilarating.  Most have been wearing shoes for years and mention that they can’t even walk across the street barefoot because it hurts.  Well, when they kick off their shoes and prance along a smooth sidewalk they tend to smile immediately and mention how proper it feels.  They feel like a kid again.  But what about the second part of the title, “…but not for everyone”

<Insert puzzled look here>

Excerpt:  They call it “barefoot” running, although many fans do it in $100 shoes. It’s based on the almost-mythical cross-country feats of an obscure Mexican Indian tribe, although even many of its members wear sandals.

OK, for the 1 millionth time, if you are running in shoes… you are not barefoot.  Sorry.  And what is all this blather about the Tarahumara?  Do any of you people run because the Tarahumara do?  Is your footwear selection (or lack thereof) based upon them?  Sheesh…

Excerpt: “Barefoot” runners come in two kinds: those who actually run barefoot and those who use — as one shoemaker puts it in a triumph of ad-speak over logic — “barefoot running shoes.”
Uh, Hello?  Barefoot runners come in more than two kinds… depending on the pointless label you put on them there may actually be hundreds or thousands of kinds.  One thing is true though… barefoot runners don’t wear shoes.  Who cares if you have shoes on or not anyhow.  <Sarcasm Alert> On Monday, I wore shoes and was just a runner.  On Tuesday, I ran without shoes and became… A Barefoot Runner!!!  <Super Hero Music Here>  Sheesh… again.  :)

I really don’t want to sound negative, I promise.  This article is pointless on many levels.  The author attempts to provide quotes from both sides of the proverbial fence.  Excerpt: “I think they’re dangerous,” says Hector Arana, 50-mile-a-week runner and co-owner of iRun sports gear shop in Miami. “You get zero arch support.”  Really?  This is one of the bigger reasons people have been led to believe as to why running shoes are required if you want to run.  Don’t question God, people.  If you want to wear shoes, do it… but don’t tell me that it is unsafe not to.  My feet don’t hurt.  LOL

Excerpt: “The safest running is without shoes,” says the University of Miami’s Sae Yong Lee, who has doctoral degrees in biomechanics and sports science. It causes the runner to stride on the balls of the feet rather than the heels, lessening the shock that runs straight up the skeleton from the heel, Lee says.

Barefoot running does, however, put more stress on the foot itself, increasing the possibility of stress fractures to the foot as well as plantar fasciitis, an irritation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot, he adds, so runners with those problems should avoid it.

I wouldn’t say running without shoes is the “safest” form of running.  It feels good to me on most surfaces, but HEY… if you don’t wish you had a pair of shoes on during a run every now and then… you’re lying.  There are times when shoes come into play.  This is where the Huarache sandal becomes a nice little addition to your ditty bag when you run on an unfamiliar course.  If you come across some terrain too technical for your soles… slip them on.  If you are landing on your heels, my thought is this… either your shoes have high heels (thus you have no choice but to land on your heels) or you are over-striding.
Does running barefoot “put more stress on the foot itself”?  This is a very all inclusive statement.  Define “more stress”.  More than what?  I would say the stresses the foot endures are placed differently on the barefoot versus the shod foot.  Overall, the consensus within the barefoot running community is that running barefoot is gentle versus the pounding that can occur when plodding along with shoes on.

 

Excerpt:  Mike Letter, co-director of the URun Clinic in the University of Miami Sports Medicine Department, has tried “barefoot” running shoes.“It’s OK for some people, Letter says. “But certain foot types can’t handle the impact. If you have a high arch or a low arch, if you underpronate or overpronate [a situation in which the foot rolls to the side when you step], it could lead to injuries like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, strained calf muscles.

Certain foot types can’t handle the impact?  This is counter logical.  If it hurts stop doing it or change the way you are doing it.  The amount of impact can be controlled.  Running barefoot doesn’t have to hurt.  Taken slowly, your soles will strengthen and you won’t be bothered by the fertilizer that your neighbor spread all over the sidewalk.  :)  Letter then groups people who can’t handle the impact into all inclusive groups.  I mean, what really is the right amount of pronation?  How high or low of an arch is abnormal?  We are all different and our bodies will adapt.  Feet work… let them.

These types of articles are similar to blog posts like this one.  What is the point?  It is just some guy throwing out some thoughts with a few quotes mixed in.  So anyhow… I guess this turned into a little rant of sorts… Sorry.  My favorite part of the article is this…

“And, of course, the barefoot runner must take care not to step on anything hard or sharp.”

oH CRAP!  I stepped on the floor and it was hard!  LOL…
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