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Barefoot vs Shod Running: New Article in Podiatry Today Magazine

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, May 2, 2012.

  1. Here is a "trading card" of the great Ethiopian barefoot runner, Abebe Bikila, showing how pretty the bottoms of your feet will look with barefoot running.
  2. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Excellent article Kevin. I am personally very much over the entire barefoot discussion for the moment because I find that almost everyone who advocates barefoot running does so intimating that it is somehow a treatment for foot and just about every other human malady and none quote actual facts. I get emails weekly from colleagues asking questions about the subject. Lately several pointed to a website where they advocate barefoot or minimal for children because shod is evil as you know. It's important that people such as yourself have taken an interest in writing factually and honestly about the subject. Much appreciated and keep up the good work!
  3. Thanks for the kind comment, David.

    Here is a photo of "Barefoot Caveman", Glen Raines, who, I think, has the right idea if one wanted to truly be more like our ancestors, and run barefoot.

    Glen is the one wearing the latest style of Nike loincloth.:rolleyes:
  4. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    That is a informative & balanced article there Kevin.

    I recently wrote an article on a similar topic (out of recent frustrating material circulating) - albeit from a different perspective.

    I feel performance (i.e. in racing) is important for this topic (despite what some feel within the Barefoot movement) as it ultimately reflects efficiency/economy. On this issue you wrote...

    Could another possible answer be what I have recently seen labelled as the "cost of cushioning" hypothesis? In its context...

    Would this (as well as shearing forces) be another probable case - particularly whilst running at speed within race situations?
  5. That paper came out directly after I submitted my manuscript to Podiatry Today magazine, otherwise, I would have changed the wording of the manuscript. I definitely think this "cost of cushioning" hypothesis is a good one.
  6. Special thanks to Craig Payne for this little gem that hits the nail directly on the head.
  7. Here's a good article on Roger Kram's study that showed that most runners ran more efficiently in lightweight racing flats than barefoot.

    Making the Case for Running Shoes

  8. It's just modulation of leg stiffness to match the surface stiffness- surface too stiff, i.e. barefoot (no cushioning from shoes), the leg has to increase eccentric muscle work to control the increased hip and knee flexion. We were talking about this a couple of years ago now.
  9. My guess is that, with lighweight shoes, the gastroc-soleus isn't being preactivated as early during running versus barefoot running and that is where the majority of the metabolic cost savings comes from during running in lightweight shoes. However, one problem with Kram's study was that the runners actually weren't running barefoot, but running in non-slip socks on the treadmill, so the socks, with their inherent slight movements relative to the foot the feet during running, may have affected the results of the study.
  10. What was the strike pattern barefoot versus shod?
  11. I don't understand your question, Dr. Spooner.
  12. Well, given your assertion that metabolic cost is increased in barefoot versus shod running due to pre-activiation of calf muscles during barefoot running, this assumption should be dependent upon there being differences in the strike position in the shod versus barefoot conditions.. Was there any differences?
  13. They didn't measure footstrike percentage once data collection was begun in the barefoot vs shod trials. The best way to measure gastrocnemius-soleus preactivation before footstrike is not by footstrike percentage, but by EMG.
  14. So, if foot-strike was unaltered woud we expect to see any difference in calf muscle pre-activation? Of course, increase metabolic cost could just be due to shorter step length observed with the typical barefoot + forefoot strike running gait.
  15. We don't know if foot strike was unaltered since it wasn't measured. Even if we knew that foot strike was exactly the same on the plantar foot on force plate versus plantar shoe sole on force plate, comparing barefoot to shoe condition, does this necessarily mean that gastroc-soleus activation levels were identical? I don't think so. EMG would still be the gold standard to determine whether gastroc-soleus muscle activity was changed, not foot strike percentage.
  16. And that's the key, we don't know if it was altered either. Thus my contention is as good as yours, Kevin.:drinks
  17. Leah Claydon

    Leah Claydon Active Member

    Then along came "the mid-foot strike shoe". Oh joy.

  18. Mark Dave Smith

    Mark Dave Smith Active Member

    I would be very interested to see how plantar forefoot fat pads hold up long term to barefoot running. Would transverse shearing forces going through these structures increase without supportive footwear? And would long term barefoot forefoot striking running lead to increased fat pad migration? I haven't met anyone coming through my clinic yet who is keen on this style of running, but i'm thinking about having some special stickers made up for them.
  19. Here is Shigeki Tanaka, a 19 y/o Hiroshima survivor, who in 1951 (60+ years ago!!) won the Boston Marathon in split-toe, thin soled running shoes from Onitsuka Tiger (now Asics).

    Oh, I forgot, minimalist shoes are a "new thing"........:bang::craig::wacko:
  20. Here is a pdf copy of my article in Podiatry Today for those interested.

    Kirby KA: Barefoot versus shod running: Which is Best?, Podiatry Today, 25(5):54-60, 2012.
  21. Just got back from my debate with Irene Davis, PhD, on "Barefoot vs Shod Running" at the Annual American College of Sports Medicine Meeting in San Francisco. We each had 10 minutes of lecture then answered questions from the audience for 30 minutes. We had about 250-300 in attendance and I think we both got our points across. We had plenty of good comments after the debate so maybe Irene and I will do it again some other day.

    I don't think that much will be decided by these debates but certainly most who attend do seem to find it all fairly informational and entertaining. I guess that is what it is all about.

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