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Roundtable Discussion on Barefoot Running and Minimalist Shoes

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, Apr 29, 2013.

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    The May 2013 issue of Podiatry Today magazine was just published with a roundtable discussion on barefoot running and minimalist shoes including myself and Drs. Rich Blake, Jenny Sanders, Doug Richie, Bill Johncock and Nicholas Romansky in the interview.

    When Patients Ask About Barefoot Running and Minimalist Shoes
  2. drdebrule

    drdebrule Active Member


    I was disappointed by the lack of consensus on the answers. It seemed that with few exceptions the panelists were just talking from personal experience instead of quoting research study outcomes. The podiatry arena forums are more helpful for someone like me trying to learn all I can about this topic. I think it is all right to say we don't know the answer yet for all of these questions.

    Also, I think this article should have tried to emphsize more that transitioning to a new running style must be done gradually over months (or maybe a year) to help avoid injury. Shouldn't this be a major point for doctors when they talk to patients about minimal shoes? Craig Payne pointed out in another thread that books like Idiots Guide to Barefoot Running can be helpful for these runners. Why wasn't this mentioned? Or perhaps suggesting a running coach with experience in making this transition could have been helpful too. I get the feeling that a lot of these runners just switch to Vibram Five Fingers one day cold turkey and go on to develop new injuries.
  3. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    The article continues to beat the same old horse which I found quite boring. There is a general theme that flows through this never ending repetitive discussion, a blatent lack of understanding about what running means to the majority of those who actually run. We have all sorts of "experts" on both sides of the discussion yet over and over again, those "experts" never demonstrate that they really get what running is about. Those who give opinions about one type of running shoe over another without understanding running are simply full of hot air. This comment applies to both sides.
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Actually, it is the Complete Idiots Guide to Barefoot Running that is better than the Idiots Guide to Barefoot Running.

    The best option I now recommend is the book I reviewed here: The Runners World Complete Guide to Minimalism and Barefoot Running.
  5. Michael:

    When I am asked to be involved in these "roundtable discussions" in Podiatry Today or Podiatry Management magazines, I don't have a say in what the questions are, I just answer them with short, concise answers since this is all they will print. In addition, I don't know what other members of the "roundtable" will be saying. I believe this article was just looking for the range of ideas within our profession regarding barefoot and/or minimalist shoes, and not necessarily was looking for a consensus.

    However, if I am asked to write a feature article, I will always take the time to add references to my article since, quite simply, I have been given the available space by the journal or magazine to do so. For example, I just wrote a 4,000 word feature article for Foot and Ankle Quarterly titled "Footstrike and Running Form Controversies: What Does the Scientific Evidence Tell Us?" where I have 42 references and am currently writing a 1,500 word point-counterpoint article on "Minimalist Running Shoes: A Significant Advance Or Injuries Waiting To Happen?" for Podiatry Today magazine, with ten references so far.

    In general, the more words, the more references.:drinks
  6. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    "Born to Run" hit the book shelves 4 yrs ago this week. It has been on the NY times best seller list for more than 200 consecutive weeks, currently listed as no. 21 on the non fiction paperback list. It has sold more than a half million copies worldwide.

    Pretty impressive for a book that has caused so much heartburn for so many. I wonder how much McDougalll earns on each book sold. Talk about hitting the jackpot. He certainly had the right subject at the right time. I have been amazed at how a single book was able to shake up the huge and powerful running shoe industry. It will be interesting to see after 4 yrs and counting, how long it will take the shoe industry to sort itself out.
  7. drdebrule

    drdebrule Active Member


    Lack of consensus seems to be the take home message from the roundtable. :) I did appreciate how you re-framed one of their questions, so that it made better sense. I am looking forward to your new articles coming out soon.


    Thanks again. I will check out the Runner's World book too.
  8. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Wasn't sure where to post the following due to the array of "barefoot/minimalist" related threads on this forum - this thread seems appropriate.

    Came across this article recently...

    The Biomechanical Case for Minimalist Running:

    Amongst other things this article raises... on my never-ending quest to find out the history of where the large (i.e. 12mm) heel to forefoot midsole pitch came from... could the above reasoning be another historical candidate (along with that "ankle equinus" research paper reasoning).

    I have found the above phenomenon interesting for quite a while i.e. different interpretations of the same data... allowing world view / biases to sway interpretation thereof... & within science. Being my interest on the controversial topic of "Origins" (Creation & evolution) where this phenomenon is quite prevalent (even between those within the same camp) I have learnt to analyse data/research articles as objective as possible (as someone here has mentioned - exercise one's "critical eye" - this thread)... & have the courage to go where the evidence leads. We must be careful when assessing & interpreting the empirical data as humanity (from any field or position) isn't inherently immune to forming subjective conclusions (swayed by world view / biasness).

    The above appears to be true. Anyway, interesting article... with interesting times ahead.
  9. Here is a clean pdf copy of the magazine article on the roundtable discussion on barefoot and minimalist shoe running.
  10. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Just thought I should clarify that my above post at # 9 was not alluding to any group, views or individuals in Podiatry Arena. Just a general point of observation about differing interpretations of the same data - influenced via conscious or subconscious biasness (which we all should be mindful of).
  11. Phil Rees

    Phil Rees Active Member

    It's an interesting discussion. Maybe a contribution of the manufacturers and designers of minimalist footwear would have added an interesting perspective.
  12. Griff

    Griff Moderator


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