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No evidence' on running shoe safety

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Boots n all, Oct 3, 2011.

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  1. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Did any of get to read this, a client just left a copy with me, the barefoot guys are going love this...........

    AUSTRALIAN joggers are being warned there's no hard science underpinning what they wear on their feet.

    Scientists at the University of Newcastle wanted to find independent studies on the safety of sneakers that have cushioned heels and other features to prevent the ankle rolling in.

    Dr Craig Richards said an analysis of the global pool of sports medicine research turned up nothing relating to the commonly used, and recommended, sports shoes.

    "Since the 1980s, distance running shoes with thick, heavily cushioned heels and features to control how much the heel rolls in, have been consistently recommended to runners who want to avoid injury,'' Dr Richards said.
    Full story here

    Then you might like to read the interview done by the ABC, love the foot note at the end
    "Richards is also a partner in the footwear design company Barefoot on Grass,.."

  2. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    Craig Richards is right; there is no evidence supporting the current paradigm of running shoe prescription. What he and the newspaper forgot to mention, is that there is no evidence that its harmful either.
  3. Exactly seems they most important question was not asked after the statement there is not evidence of running shoe safety ...

    Is there evidence that they are unsafe ? - ummmmmmmm no, but thats not the point and by the way buy my barefoot shoes.

    Is a barefoot shoe and oxymoron ? - ummmm

    If your say that there is not any evidence on running shoe safety and by that you are insinuating that shoe are unsafe for running, then why does a company your involved in make shoes for running ? - ummmmm , but these shoe are different and simulate barefoot running and are safe.

    Any evidence for that ? ummmmm no but cavemen ran barefoot.

    I read somewhere that they found a cloth shoe carbon dated to 30 000 years old, so even caveman needed protection - I read that too but cavemen with with a minimalist shoe which simulated running barefoot.

    ummmmm ok what was the reported injury rates of cavemen ?[/I] - Ive no idea. Have you read born to run ?
  4. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    This will be a very long post as the link for this article did not work.
    This was in 'The Age' newspaper from Melbourne in the weekend supplement...
    Somehow I am on this faster than my Aussie colleagues!:D
    Simon Bartold gets a run, but a lot of the standard line from the 'barefoot is best' brigade....:rolleyes:


    Are athletic shoes with their ever-evolving impact-cushioning technologies one of modern society's biggest cons? John Van Tiggelen looks at the merit and science behind the increasingly popular practice of barefoot running.
    One of the world's best-performing middle-distance runners lives in the basement flat of a tall apartment building just down the hill from Sydney's Royal Randwick racecourse. His name is Keith Bateman, and he holds the world records for all five official distances between 1500 and 10,000 metres. Sponsors don't come knocking, though. It's his age, partly - he's 56, and the records are age-group specific. But more than that, Bateman's not big on shoes. He believes barefoot is the way to go, which rather limits his endorsement opportunities.
    In a runners' world bought, sold and controlled by the likes of Nike, Brooks, Adidas and Asics, it remains a little-known fact that many elite athletes train with next to no shoes. Bateman's coach, Sean Williams, says about three-quarters of his elite running squad, which includes Olympic athletes, train either barefoot or in "minimalist" shoes, which are essentially slippers with grip. In competition, they'll wear narrow "racing flats", or exceedingly lightweight running shoes, but unless recovering from injury or a hard race, they won't go near the high-heeled, cushioned, stabilising running shoes that the rest of us pad about in.
    One of Williams's most talented young runners, Harry Summers, even spurns "flats", preferring to race either barefoot or, on the road, in a rubber-soled sock that fits each toe like a glove. In August, sporting these foot-gloves, he finished fourth in Sydney's Sun-Herald City2Surf, in a field of 85,000. Summers will likely cause a stir in them at next year's London Olympics, too, if, as expected, he takes his place in the 5000 metres.
    Still, these are elite runners. They are built to run. The rest of us, so the thinking goes, are not. Unlike elite runners, who make up about a fifth of one per cent of competitors in fun runs such as the City2Surf and next month's Sunday Age City2Sea in Melbourne, we need shoes to cushion our ankles, buttress our arches, spare our knees and align our legs. We don't need a salesman to tell us we're not naturals - we sense intuitively that our tender, desk-bound bodies are easily damaged by running on bitumen and concrete. We're hacks, and we need all the protection we can get.
    Running, as a sport, was largely left to elite competitors until the early '70s, when a surge in health and body consciousness saw hordes of people take up jogging. Sports doctors noted a sharp increase in foot injuries and, in response, helped design the modern running shoe. Based on the assumption that the more impact the shoe absorbed, the better it was for the foot, the new shoe bore three key innovations: the heel was raised about a centimetre, a thick, cushioning layer was added mid-sole and the instep was fortified to prevent the foot rolling in.
    Over the past 40 years, the big shoe companies have tweaked the prototype in myriad ways. Today there are hundreds of models, many of which are "improved" and reissued annually to provide your individual foot type with even better protection, or so the marketing campaigns would have you believe. The industry line is that there is a "right" shoe out there for everyone, and that if you're getting injured - as roughly 60 per cent of Australia's 700,000 recreational runners do at least once every year - chances are you just haven't found it yet. Asics, for instance, has 38 different running shoes to choose from, or 19 for every man and woman, including the 17th edition of one and the 13th of another. Rival cushioning technologies (air, gel, plastic, springs, computerisation) are endlessly talked up, with Nike now boasting of employing an "intelligent" foam, developed by NASA (marketing slogan: "Actually, it is rocket science").
    The modern running shoe's key selling points - stability, motion control and "a smooth ride" - make it sound, and look, like the SUV of footwear. One popular shoe, by Brooks, is even called the "Beast".
    And yet, like the SUV, it seems safety is in the eye of the beholder. For all the engineering and embellishments, injury rates among runners have not decreased in the past 40 years.
    Three years ago, a young Australian doctor from the University of Newcastle, Craig Richards, reviewed the medical literature for studies testing the capacity of running shoes tailored to particular foot types to either prevent injury or improve performance, as routinely claimed by the major sports shoe companies, retailers and podiatrists. He found not one. Publishing his review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, he concluded that running shoes were "unproven technology" and that their prescription was "not evidence-based".
    Indeed, independent researchers are increasingly finding what veteran champion runners, like Australia's Ron Clarke, have always maintained - that hefty running shoes have made us soft. Irene Davis, director of Harvard Medical School's National Running Centre, contends that the foot, when shod, loses its natural shock-absorbing function. Meanwhile, her Harvard colleague, evolutionary biologist Daniel E. Lieberman, has shown that the force of sudden impacts when running in raised, cushioned shoes is actually sharper than when running barefoot, because these shoes have changed the way we run.
    "A natural running technique involves landing on your midfoot or forefoot, rather than your heel," explains Richards. "The arch of the foot, Achilles tendon and musculature act like a spring; the anatomy of the foot is a wondrous thing.
    "But the raised heel in modern shoes encourages runners to land on their heels, and the extra cushioning allows them to get away with it. That's why you see 80 per cent of recreational runners land on their heels. They wouldn't be able to do that barefoot - it would be too painful."
    Richards suspects modern running shoes may in fact be making runners more susceptible to foot, knee and lower-leg injuries. Shin splints, for instance, are related to heel-striking. Still, he cautions, the science is out. "All we know is that there is no evidence that running shoes are good for you," he says. "There is only hype, and the health-care professions have been carried along. They've helped sell the shoe as a therapeutic device because they assumed the research has been done, but that's not the case. Or if the shoe companies have done the studies, they haven't been happy enough with the results to release them."
    I've arranged to meet Keith Bateman, the world-beating veteran, at his Randwick flat for an early-morning run along the coast. I'm in luck; Bateman's coach has pencilled in a slow seven-kilometre run because he is still recovering from his victory in the marathon, hardly his pet event, at the 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships in Sacramento. (He also won gold in the 1500 metres, the eight-kilometre cross country and in the 10 kilometres.)
    I've turned up in my usual gear: a standard pair of highly cushioned shoes, fitted with customised orthotics, and extra-thick socks for added cushioning. Meanwhile, Bateman pulls on a pair of thin foot-gloves, made by Vibram. They look hilarious, like monkey feet, or something a cat burglar might wear.
    We jog down the hill to the coast at Clovelly, and around Gordons Bay to Coogee. Every now and then, Bateman glances at my feet, which are slapping the pavement rather more loudly than his. Bateman, a web designer who nowadays makes his living as a running coach, is worried about my reliance on orthotics. "Like big shoes, they might support your foot but they also keep it weak, so that you need them more and more," he says. "I've never understood why podiatrists should be permitted to prescribe and sell orthotics [which cost about $500], when, for obvious reasons, doctors cannot sell medicine."
    Bateman, a jaunty, silver-haired chap who goes by the nickname of Fossil, came to running late, in his 30s, in shoes not unlike mine. At 47, he joined Sean Williams's Centennial Park running squad, with a fastest time over 10 kilometres of 36 minutes - speedy, but hardly elite. Williams told him to expect to plateau within a year or two. Three years later, Bateman began transitioning to barefoot. His stride improved sharply, as did his times. Last year, at 55, he clocked 10,000 metres in 31 minutes. And he's still getting faster.
    At Coogee, he stops to analyse my gait, with and without shoes. "Oh dear," he says. "You don't land on your heels, exactly, but you need to lean forward more, without bending at the waist. When you run you need to lift the feet, not the knees. That's why good runners have tight arses, and bad runners don't - you use your glutes.
    "Also, your feet are weak. You can't throw out the heavy shoes and orthotics right away, but if you incorporate barefoot running into your training, little by little, you're going to get stronger and faster. People like you, middle-aged people, think that they have peaked. But they're wrong. Taking my case as an example, they have at least 10 years of improvement left in them."
    Barefoot running has long attracted a fringe fan base (see "Happy Running", below) outside of competitive running. For them, barefoot running is not about running fast, but about reconnecting with the earth. Minimalist shoes won't do, because running barefoot is a personal "journey" - bees, broken glass, bitumen and frost be damned. For years, these barefoot evangelists have unwittingly served the $20-billion shoe industry well, by deflecting the debate about barefoot running from a question of biomechanics to a quest for self-improvement.
    But barefoot running, in its minimally shod form, is on the cusp of going mainstream, and the shoe companies know it. Almost all have released, or are about to release, a "barefoot- inspired" running shoe. The market leader, Nike, has the "Free" (ad slogans: "Run barefoot" and "58 foot muscles - awake them all"), Brooks has the "Pure" range and New Balance the "Minimus" - though all retain some heel cushioning.
    In the United States, sales of these shoes have quadrupled in the past 12 months, to about five per cent of the overall running-shoe market. (Accurate Australian data is unavailable, because many runners buy their shoes cheaply online. Geoff Webster, sales and merchandise director of The Athlete's Foot, says most of the chain's 140 stores are yet to stock the product.)
    Meanwhile, trade in genuine minimalist shoes is picking up sharply. This year, Vibram expects to sell four million pairs of its "FiveFingers" foot-gloves globally, a tenfold jump in two years. Max DeLacy distributes the product in Australia and business in his Sydney shop is very brisk. Several rugby league clubs are customers. Even Robert de Castella is padding about in rubber monkey feet.
    DeLacy, a Brit who grew up in east Africa and previously tossed in a corporate job to work as a personal trainer, has the ravenous charm of Richard Branson. His formidable sales patter is part "paleo" - we were evolved to hunt barefoot - and part physio - it's better for us. "Cushioned shoes with the built-up heel are the billion-dollar con," he says. "They're there to protect you from the impact of heel-striking, but without shoes with a built-up heel you won't heel-strike.
    "Running barefoot forces you to run lightly. That's why the Africans dominate world distance running. They know if you kick the earth, it will kick you back, through your heel, through your knee, through your hip and through your back."
    DeLacy, it has to be said, walks the walk. His office, located above his Sydney shop, smells like feet, and he recently ran a three-hour road marathon in his FiveFingers. Running without them, he's also cut his foot on glass, quite badly. He shows me the scar. "Barefoot runners don't litter because they care," he reckons. "If you wear shoes, you don't give a ****."
    Still, there's something faintly discordant about middle-aged men arguing in favour of caveman biodynamics. After all, back in the Stone Age, their hunting days would be over. Also, for a business called Barefootinc, DeLacy's shop looks uncannily like a shoe shop. The foot-gloves aren't cheap - at upwards of $150 a pair, they're on a par with traditional running shoes. And they're not simple - some of the upper-end models, such as the Bikila (named after the late Ethiopian champion Abebe Bikila, who won the 1960 Olympic marathon barefoot) are highly engineered and padded, as are many of the other minimalist shoes on display.
    It all makes Craig Richards, the University of Newcastle researcher, slightly uneasy. Minimalist shoes, he points out, are hardly new: think Dunlop Volleys. "There are a whole lot of shoe companies now jumping on the bandwagon of minimalist shoes. In a way, we're seeing the same thing happening as when the modern running shoe evolved. They're switching from one paradigm to another, but it's still untested. So far, it's pretty much all just marketing."
    Richards gets annoyed by the fanaticism of some barefoot runners. "Not all runners get injured in cushioned shoes. But even if the current footwear is not ideal, transition [to barefoot/minimalist footwear] is a dangerous period, and the benefits may not outweigh the cost. People's feet are really quite weak now."
    There's another confounding factor: what about runners' footwear outside running? Might that not affect their risk of injury? "Sure," says Richards. "If you're in well-heeled shoes all day, you're effectively shortening your Achilles [tendon] when you could be stretching it. That's not going to be helpful."
    Of the big shoe companies, only one is holding the line by refusing to release a low-heeled, minimalist running shoe. If anything, Asics is going in the opposite direction. Two years ago, it raised the heel-to-toe gradient in its women's shoes by 25 per cent, or a further three millimetres.
    Simon Bartold, an Adelaide podiatrist who has been Asics's global research co-ordinator for the past 11 years, contends the push for minimalist shoes is downright dangerous. "We've not seen a shred of evidence it's the responsible thing [to lower the heel]," he says. "I am genuinely concerned that we are going to see people getting injured on the basis of a fad that has virtually no foundation in science, that is being flogged and blogged by a whole bunch of people on the internet with absolutely no accountability."
    Rankled by online slurs likening him to a climate-change denier, he insists it is barefoot running proponents who are "twisting facts and feeding lies". The focus on injury rates is meaningless, he says, because there are too many variables. It is quite conceivable, for instance, that the average recreational runner today is bigger and heavier than 40 years ago, and thus more likely to get injured, were it not for the cushioned shoes he or she is wearing.
    Yes, he says, injuries happen. But that's sport. He extols the modern shoe as the "end product of really highly sophisticated science". At the same time, he concedes, shoes, including Asics ones, have been "over-engineered", at least for a time. Bartold says Asics realised 10 years ago that the pursuit of "motion control" (through inflexible shoes with a stiff, raised instep to prevent the foot from rolling in, or pronating, upon landing) was misguided. "People said we were crazy, motion control was where it was at, but it's a concept that can't be supported because it just doesn't work. You can't stop pronation."
    The future, as Asics saw it, was "motion enhancement", through more flexible shoes and what Asics now calls "structured cushioning", in order to support the pronation, rather than halt it.
    If that sounds like a concession to the barefoot brigades, Bartold acknowledges barefoot running has a place as part of a balanced training program. "To put the foot through a greater range of motion is, as far as we can understand, quite a positive thing to do from an injury-prevention perspective. This thinking has been around for years and years."
    But he does not accept that shoes weaken the foot. "Anyone who plays sport gets injured. Running is dangerous, because runners endure the same repetitive load with every single step on the same surface. It's the reason runners get far more overuse injuries than orienteerers. Modern athletic footwear attenuates those loading patterns."
    Bartold insists landing heel first is anatomically normal, because "we've evolved to adapt to a shod situation". He points out some people spend their entire lives in sneakers. "It's different for elite athletes. But for 75 per cent of recreational runners, they need cushioned shoes, or they couldn't run at all."
    Sports shoe companies influence podiatrists much like pharmaceutical companies grease doctors, and Asics is backing itself to defeat the barefoot trend. The day we speak, Bartold has just returned from a trip to New York, where he addressed gatherings of podiatrists and magazine editors on the "dangers" posed by barefoot running and minimalist footwear. A few days later, he's hosting a similar seminar at an Asics-sponsored meeting of Sports Podiatry Queens land. As he writes in the blurb: "For the first time in the history of athletic footwear, manufacturers (other than Asics) are moving to a tendency to base product on what ... might fit the market rather than what fits the athlete."
    But as any runner knows, finding what shoe fits has never been simple. In the course of preparing this story, I visited three different sports shoe stores. In the first, The Athlete's Foot, I was prescribed a "neutral" cushioned shoe, for "normal" pronation, after walking across a pressure mat to assess my arch. In the second, a salesman observed I needed a "stability" shoe to counter my "mild over-pronation". And in the third, an upmarket boutique staffed by final-year podiatry students, I was recommended a "motion control" shoe for serious over-pronation based on a video recording of the back of my legs while running on a treadmill. (The recommended shoe's brand, incidentally, was Asics; although Asics might have stopped using the term "motion control", hardly anyone else has.)
    When I recount this experience to Bartold, he's not surprised. "Consumers, retailers, sports medics have never been more confused," he says. "Nobody knows what shoe to be selling. You could go to three different podiatrists and get three different recommendations. It really has become a very sophisticated field and there aren't many people in the country who can really talk the talk at a technical level."
    Yet at least some of the complexity appears manufactured. Several recent studies of American military recruits have shown that prescribing a shoe type on the basis of someone's arch type - as Asics itself does via its "shoe finder" function on its website - does not affect injury risk one iota.
    Ron Clarke, the former Olympian, running-shoe designer and now Gold Coast mayor, accuses the industry of gimmickry. He tells me over-pronation is primarily a side effect of wearing raised shoes, and of heel-striking, in the first place. Fifty years ago, in Clarke's heyday, over-pronation was a pathology restricted to people with flat feet. Today, 90 per cent of runners are prescribed corrective (stability/motion control/structured cushioning) shoes: over-pronation is the new normal.
    Simon Bartold concedes the shoe categories (stability, etc) are misleading. "The athletic footwear industry, including Asics, is trying to simplify things by saying, 'You're a pronator, you need this particular shoe', when there is a spectrum of footwear that might suit any particular runner. Fact is, pronation is normal. It's to be encouraged. Those categories actually mean nothing at all.
    "Look, one of the few positive things in the [barefoot/minimalist] debate is that we've started to look at how complex our product has become and whether, instead of constantly adding more stuff to the shoes, we can do things better simply by taking stuff out. And there's probably something in that."
    With science largely sidelined in the debate, I seek out Sean Williams, the experienced coach, for a final word. "Barefoot running is not a fad," says Williams, as his elite charges, including Harry Summers and Keith Bateman, warm up in Centennial Park. "The bottom line is that transitioning to barefoot makes your stride more efficient. Almost everyone pronates but when you run barefoot, you pronate much less. Put me or Harry or Keith in big shoes, and we'll run knock-kneed."
    "So yeah, I think there are a lot of people out there who would go a bit quicker barefoot. I also think it reduces the risk of injury and it's good for recovery and rehabilitation, because it stretches the tendons better than static stretches do. But it's not for everyone. A lot of people have been conditioned to land on their heels. Maybe they can't go back."
    He nods at two passing runners, one of whom is thwacking the ground, heel first. "That's going to take its toll. Cushioned shoes are for overweight people or people with bad biodynamics, and possibly for runners doing really high mileage. Not everyone is born to run, especially not on bitumen and concrete. But we're on the cusp of change. The minimalist thing is going to keep rolling."

    Barefoot running is as old as hippies, but two years ago it acquired almost cult-like status following the release of Born to Run, Christopher McDougall's best-selling account of his "journey" to run injury-free. The book is part rollicking adventure story, part barefoot polemic, but at its core it's a classic self-help tale of a man who finds the secret to happiness among a remote tribe of natural-born distance runners, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyons.
    The book won many disciples, including David Hotz, a South African accountant who advertises barefoot running workshops in Sydney. If that sounds like teaching someone to breathe, that's precisely Hotz's starting point. During a two-hour, shoes-off session one chilly morning in Sydney's Centennial Park, Hotz has me exhaling with a scream, treading gingerly across jagged gravel, jumping from a park bench and jogging up a grassy knoll, eyes closed. "Shoes are a disconnect between us and the earth," he tells me. "I want you to move your attention to your feet. What can you feel? Is the grass slippery? Is it wet? Can you feel mud?"
    Instructed to run lightly along a strip of gravel, I do my best to please, but Hotz is onto me. "You are manufacturing softness," he says, peering at my foot strike. "Stop running with your head. Trust your feet. Keep them soft, sensitive."
    Hotz, who runs the Barefoot Runners Society's Australian chapter, tells me he likes to run on gravel roads in the dark, for hours. "It's like meditation.
    I can happily run in my sandals, too, but running without shoes is like having sex without a condom.
    "The more your body is used the way nature intended, the better for your mind. Dude, the powerful, instinctive parts of our being have been blunted. It's not about running fast. It's about the persistence hunt, about trailing prey until it tires. That's what we were born to do."
    He removes his leather sandals to demonstrate his technique. "Watch how my head stays level at all times," he says, taking off across the dewy grass. He completes a boomerang's arc with little steps, his arms paddling by his side, his upper body rigid as an Irish step dancer. "It should feel effortless," he says, smiling blissfully. "It should feel joyous."
    And I smile, too, because I've just realised that he wants me to run like Cliff Young, the Victorian spud farmer who, at 61, jog-shuffled his way to victory in the inaugural Sydney-to-Melbourne ultramarathon. Of course, "Cliffy" never ran barefoot. He honed his style rounding up sheep in gumboots.

  5. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    I like the thought of an a Web Designer or an Accountant teaching people to run:D.

    It fits in nicely with the total craziness of barefoot running.
    I could bash on about cavemen not running on artificially flat surfaces, but we all know it.
    We only ran our prey down (if we ever did) until we learned to train dogs, or make and use a spear, sling or a bow and arrow.
    I'm only suprised the Hopi Indians weren't involved somewhere down the line (with apologies to Hopi Indians everywhere).

    Oh, and for those with long memories, didn't NIKE have an anti-pronation running shoe called the Equator out in 1975. Wasn't the Adidas shoe incorporating the Dellinger Web (designed, I believe, to increase the cushioning effect) out around the same time?
    That was a loooong time ago..............;)
  6. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  7. mgrig

    mgrig Active Member


    3 people have referenced that article when talking to me since it was published on Saturday...

    gotta love the "science" behind his argument, and the fact that his "balanced" article had 2 pro barefoot sections and then threw retail, podiatry and manufacturing into one section (then only referenced Bartold).

  8. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    it always feels a bit crazy when the last word goes to a coach.. not that I have anything agaionst coaches at all.. but I am sure they are not experts in biomechanics, shoe design and sports medicine. And what about the referencing of Ron Clarke??? I think, given he was running 50 years ago now, asking him questions about the state of modern athletic footwear is akin to asking Edsel Ford about the state of the current automotive industry... hell he was running around the time Kevin was..:D
    On the back of the Age article, I had to do an interview for Channel 7 and "Today Tonight" yesterday.. fully expecting them to massacre that given the journalist believed I was pro barefoot running. All I can say is that i am looking forward to a completely unfettered debate with Daniel Lieberman at the UKSEm conference in London in November. Suffice to say i am sufficiently grumpy to be relishing letting him have it with both barrels!
    Craig Richards has been banging on about his BJSM paper for almost 3 years now, and I believe most people have lost interest. He like I, like Chris Mc Dougall and like everyone on this arena, has a vested interest.. a conflict if you like. The only difference is that he refuses to admit it which smacks of dishonesty. The thing I found fascinating about his report is that whilst he found no evidence that footwear reduces injury, his analysis specifically exluded any papers that reported in any way the loading patterns that have been shown to affect injury and that have been proven to be attenuated by modern athletic footwear.. never let the truth get in the way....
  9. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

  10. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    I find this all very fascinating. Running shoes were invented about 50 years ago and they were never even tested to show if they were safe. Still years later and no evidence whatsoever. Given the lack of evidence it would seem very reasonable to me for someone to choose to run barefoot, as it would be the default position given the fact that our ancestors ran barefoot for millions of years.

    If there is any good evidence I apologize, but I have yet to see any, so I'll continue running barefoot until then.
  11. AlexDP

    AlexDP Member

    Indeed there isn't. Which is why the barefoot community should not say so. However it would only seem fair that the people who make running shoes start to wonder whether or not they're actually helping people. After all, they do claim their shoes will hurt you less, whereas there is no evidence for it.

    Don't turn this around, that makes no sense at all. It's a homeopathic idea of medicine. Is that really the level you want to be at?
  12. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    Not saying that at all. All I'm saying if I'm bringing a product to market I should be sure that the product should cause no harm. If shoe companies were as diligent with their initial research as drug companies perhaps we wouldn't be in such a mess today. It seems anyone can produce a "shoe" these days are not liable for the damage they may cause. There's something wrong with that IMHO.
  13. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    False logic!
    There is absolutely NO evidence that they do any harm. All there we have propaganda and rhetoric that the gullible fall for.
    Should that not also apply to all the "barefoot shoes" on the market? Did they test those first? You do realize that they have been a economic stimulus plan for those who treat running injuries. The injury rate is high - just ask anyone who treats a lot of running injuries how many barefoot/minimalist runners they are treating and compare that number to the actual number who are doing it ....
  14. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    That may well not be true for very long, keep watching the "toning shoe" manufactures, already had a "False/misleading claims" against a few of them.

    http://www.podiatry-arena.com/podiatry-forum/showthread.php?t=57991&highlight=nike sued

    And there is a legal firm that has a webpage looking for complaints of injury's caused by toning shoes.

  15. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    How is this false logic perhaps you would like to explain. If a drug manufacturer produced a drug and then didn't do any research whether or not it was benificial, or benign or even harmful then they would be held accountable. Not only that the most prudent course of action for any consumer who was knowledgable about the lack of research would be to not take the drug, given the fact we don't know how harmful or benign it actually is. Thus it would be best for runners in general to not use running shoes until they are properly tested. Better to use what humans have been using for millions of years then something untested Therefore it's more reasonable to run barefoot.

    Yes true. We don't know if running shoes are harmful, benign, or benificial. Given this fact we should wait for the research before making any possible false claims.

    Yes it should also apply to all the "barefoot shoes" on the market. I've always thought people should learn to run barefoot first and then use the shoes if conditions become necessary, in the environment. Of course this only a guess, there needs be more studies done to determine anything at all. Funny that you percieve the injury rate as being "high". We know that about 70% of all runners get injuried in regular running shoes. Would you consider that high?
  16. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Its a false logic as the "running shoe" is the norm/standard/common. Why try something new (ie minimalist/barefoot) until research shows that its at least equivalent to the standard (which is how the drug regularity authorities work).
    Firstly, there is a very big difference between prevalence and incidence, so be careful how you use that 70% figure.

    Look at it this way ... ask anyone who treats a lot of runners in their clinics (I have asked a huge number) how many injuries they are seeing for, say, every 100 runners that see. The typical answer is usually at least a few, some say 10, some say 20, ..... so lets settle on a "few" (a low estimate).

    How many people are running barefoot/minimalist? Lets assume a few for every 1000 runners (probably a high estimate) - some will say a few for every 10 000 runners.

    That means the injury rate in barefoot/minimalist runners is 10 to 100 times greater than shod runners! Should not that raise alarm bells?
  17. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    You are using false logic. Modern running shoes have only been around for about 50 years. Barefoot running is a lot older than that. There is evidence that people have been living and probably running for millions of years barefoot. Lieberman and Bramble have both identified running traits (about 24) in humans that have been found in our fossil record for about 1.5 millions of years. It is the running shoes that are new and should be tested, and the default state (or standard) being barefoot.

    This is a very loose estimate at best. Again like I said before there are a lot of factors here that need to be researched before we can make a proper assessment. Factors like type of injury, how long injured, type of shoe that was used (or none at all), and training volume. Much that it should be for any type of shoe. We just don't have a clear enough picture here to know.
  18. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Concrete never existed then either!! The environment has changed!! Its not rocket science.

    Automobiles never existed a billion yrs ago either. Have you driven one lately?
  19. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    I have seen you mention the 10-100x a few times now and wondered how you arrived at that figure. I suspect that its even higher than that. If its even half of what you have guesstimated here, then it still makes a mockery of the claims that barefoot running is the way to eliminate injury.
  20. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    What does the environment have to do with where the default argument lies? Are you suggesting you have evidence that shoes are need to run on concrete? Are you even aware of what environment people were running on 1 million years ago?

    What does automobiles have to do with the argument? I'm afraid you're not making much sense.
  21. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    Again we just don't know if barefoot running eliminates injury, the quotes that were mentioned don't take into concideration all the variables involved. It's better to focus on whether or not running shoes are a way to eliminate injury, that's what the thread was about.
  22. DrPod

    DrPod Active Member

    A lot of products come on the market every year in every aspect of our lives. Almost none of them are held to the "new drug" testing standard. To use that as an analogy of what happens with new drugs is not going to hold up.
  23. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    If CP's guesstimate is to be believed, then yes running in shoes do prevent injury as the injury rate in barefoot is so high!

    Of course there is more to it such as training errors, type of injury etc.
  24. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    You missing the point. Think 'cherry picking' and 'confirmation bias' ... we been over this in so many other threads, I can't be bothered any more.
  25. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    Guestimating some numbers from some anidotal evidence is not a good way to conduct research. I'll wait for the study to come out before I jump to any conclusions. How does this make modern running shoes "safe", just because being barefoot is not (assuming this was the case)
  26. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    Let me try. If you are going to use the argument that we did not have running shoes a million years ago and that is why we should be barefoot now, then you should also have to accept that you don't use other things (ie cars) we did not have back then as well. To not accept that is cherry picking to suit an argument you are trying to make. We can see straight through that argument for that reason.
  27. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    Yes I do see you "cherry picking" and being influenced by "confirmation bias". I'm actually trying to be neutral on the subject. I do not see how supporting the default position (barefoot), is irrational given the positive position (running shoes) has not been validated. This is actually very rational, and a reasonable way to conduct oneself. This is how most rational people conduct themselves.

    Yet you continue to ask me silly questions like "do I drive in automobiles", and assert that I'm utilizing falicious arguments!?!?!
  28. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    Thank you for fleshing out your argument. This is not what I'm saying at all. I'm not saying that everything we had a million years ago is all that I accept, you're getting my argument all wrong. What I'm saying is that if something is unproven it's best to stick to the default position. The default position here is no shoes or barefoot that is how we've ran for millions of years. If someone invents a running shoe that is something new, and may or may not be benificial. We need to test it to know.

    Another example take toothpaste. The default position is to not use it since we've lived for millions of years without it. I would be wrong to suggest that it was better for tooth decay to not brush or use toothpaste. However there is evidence to support that using toothpaste is benifical to the health of teeth, so I will use toothpaste. Where is the evidence for the benifits of the running shoes?
  29. Look - who cares really the real truth is that forefoot, midfoot, rearfoot striking, shod or unshod, soft, minimalist all of these states will be good for some bad for others.

    Some different conditions can be used by the one person for different training - but everyone is different the real question is which condition is best for whom and when. Not one condition than the other.

    So take. Your shoes of if you want buy a pair of hoke ones if you want just stop the bullsh!t that we ran barefoot a million years ago so we should now .

    What were the injury rates from running barefoot by Captain caveman ?

    We don't know right so how do we know is was better. We don't.

    Yes is some running shoe probably cause injury, yet in some barefoot running does as well.
  30. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    The problem with your argument is that the environment millions of years ago is not the environment today... therefore you cannot claim this to be the default position. There is a huge difference between running on natural surfaces and all their variety, to running on predominantly man made surfaces which are generally very regular and lack variety.

    There is no doubt that there is a ton of marketing hype regarding running shoes- I agree that a lot of the 'technologies' are more about marketing than anything else.
    Most health professionals that I know see through this and will base their recommendations based on other factors- see the recommendations on the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine website...
    Are these features based on extensive research? Not that I am aware... but they are base on the experience of a collective of health professionals who are trained on foot mechanics and pathology as well as having developed experience. That does count as a level of evidence.

    I am sure I am not alone in having patients who have been cured from their running injuries simple by wearing shoes which are more appropriate for them than what they have had previously.

    I also have had many patients here who have started having problems when they have spent more time barefoot- and I am not talking about running... just by being barefoot around the house (hot environment here...)

    I am not saying barefoot, or minimalist shoes are bad. They will be good for some, but not good for others.
    If, however, you try to suggest that all shoes which are not minimalist are bad (or barefoot is the only way), then you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater...

    At the end of the day, it will be the people treating injuries that will benefit from this attitude.
  31. Why where shoes invented?
  32. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    Not entirely sure why the need for the language.... I don't find the research that Leiberman and Bramble to be bullsh!t. Have you even read their research? They present a very compelling case. Not to say there aren't perhaps some flaws or problems with their theory..

    Well one thing I can say is that the injury rate could not have been that bad for "Captain caveman" to evolve 24 useful running traits that we see today in humans...

    Again with the reversal of the OP. For the last time it's the running shoes that need to be tested and have not been tested. Why is everyone suggesting that barefoot running should be tested, when it's actually the default position???
  33. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    Well the environment has changed, people generally in this country run on man made surfaces rather than natural surfaces that is an issue. Antidotally it would seem that the surface hardness is not a relative issue, but again there is no research to support this yet. Have to wait and see on this one. Still makes barefoot the default position though.

    Perhaps. But of course we should be able to look at said evidence and evaluate it, and understand the reasons for running shoes. So much of it seems very unprofessional at almost, like people are just operating on educated guesses at what may be benign or a benifit. Sorry I guess I'm just one of those types of people that needs to see the research to accept something.

    Not at all, I'm not saying running shoes are bad. What I am saying is if there's no research to support a product the consumer should be very warry at best. Probably better to avoid the product until some research has been done and stick to the default, which is not to use the product. So if you like to run best stick to barefoot running for the time being.
  34. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    Probably for warmth, and for increased protection from very difficult terrain.
  35. Was going to go down a Socratic learning route but I've just read some more of your posts and you appear to be just a random, non-professional. No more communication from me to you. Goodbye.

    Podiatry Arena is a forum for discussion by podiatrists and other foot health professionals about all aspects of podiatry.

    When will you people get that?
  36. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Barefoot is not the default. (As was stated by Craig)

    If you look at the behavioral changes in running style when shifting from shod to barefoot you could describe the running style of barefoot as running so as not to hurt your feet.

    I let my kids go barefoot whenever they want. They go barefoot a lot. However, when my oldest chooses to run he chooses shoes because it feels better. It makes perfect sense to me that it hurts more when I try to run barefoot. My default for running is shod.

  37. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    I'm actually a medical professional. I'm a registered nurse by training. Sorry I'm not a podiatrists or foot health professional. If that was a requirement to be part of the forums forgive my ignorance.
  38. Horseman42

    Horseman42 Banned

    When I run barefoot I don't hurt my feet. Generally if you are healthy and your feet hurt when you run it's likely your doing something wrong.

    My daughter actually is looking forward to the spring when her dad can teach her how to run barefoot. In any case I don't get my health advice from children.

    The default stance is always and will always be barefoot. I'm tired of explaining this up and down with many, many different examples. It is the way we were born, and the way we evolved to run over millions of years. It is the running shoes that are new (only about 50 years old), and untested, and should not be ever accepted as the default.
  39. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    Your logic is still majorly flawed. You simply stating its the default, doesn not make it the default.

    99% of runners use shoes. Running shoes is the default or norm. Its that simple.

    By your line of reasoning, not using cars or flying in areoplanes or etc etc is also the default. You can't have it both ways.
  40. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Like running barefoot when your particular feet feel better in shoes.

    I hope you give her the choice of running barefoot or shod. That was not health advice, it was merely stating that my habitually unshod son prefers to run in shoes. I don't have a problem with people going barefoot, but I do have a problem with them misusing data to convince others to do so.

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