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Running barefoot vs running with shoes

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by sezuni, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. sezuni

    sezuni Member


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    <MOD NOTE> This discussion has been split off from the thread:
    Running shoe technology does not reduce injuries


    How many children, who have not been adulterated by shoes, have you treated for running related injuries. Your initial response might be that they are far more limber and flexible than any adult you treat, which I would agree, but you would be missing the important clue. It is their running form. I have watched many children run barefoot and it is beautiful in its simplicity and grace. The transition from walk to run usually is as follows. Their head reaches up, followed by their chest, belly then hips and their legs and feet just seem to follow. If you watch them land it is as the article states; they land forefoot first and then roll back slightly to their heel then lift their foot and place it back down again. It is a controlled fall with little to no effort.

    I have been doing it myself for the past 2 months after reading the may issue of Runners Word which contained a profile of a man named Ken Box Saxon whom was the following website http://runningbarefoot.org/ There are many interesting articles http://runningbarefoot.org/?name=Articles

    I just ran my first barefoot race, a 5k, this past weekend. Last year in shoes I did it in 19:13 with my first mile in 6 minutes. This year I did it in 18:15 with my first mile in 5:15. I shaved almost a minute off my time. Well of course you say...you had a year to improve your conditioning. I would add that i had to take the first three weeks of may off due to a sprain I acquired in shoes playing softball and upon starting barefoot training I went from 8 miles 3x/wk in shoes to 2 miles building up a half mile a week.

    If you totally dismiss this as tomfoolery than your are missing the opportunity to grow. Observe, read and if you are brace enough try but do it slowly. You cannot undo many years of being in shoes instantly.

    Scott Cuyjet
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2005
  2. From my own personal experience, running barefoot versus running in shoes would decrease my mile repeat time by approximately 5 seconds per mile (while running in college). I suspect this improvement in my mile time by 5 seconds while barefoot was due to less mass on my feet, making the leg have less moment of inertia, decreasing the work of swing phase of running and reducing, therefore, the metabolic cost of running. Catlin et al have shown similar increases in oxygen uptake in runners at steady state exercise with attached masses on the running shoes of subjects.

    I doubt that your improvement of almost 20 seconds per mile is only due to running barefoot, Scott. There are many other variables that could have caused your improved performance, too numerous to list at this time. When you injure your foot running barefoot that you would have not injured when running in shoes, then racing in lightweight racing flats won't seem such a bad idea after all.
     
  3. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    running economy without shoes

    You may be right in that the weight of not wearing shoes could account for my decrease in time (see first article) but I expended less effort based on perceived exertion. Due to my time off I would have lost some of my cardiovascular fittness, which I felt, and that inability to remove c02 and the fact that my feet had only been conditioned for about 2 mos. could be what held me back from going faster. Had I run faster I would have gone beyond the 5% increase in running economy mentioned below and it would not have just been the shoes. Again, I would say become more informed before making blanket statements like, "When you injure your foot running barefoot that you would have not injured when running in shoes, then racing in lightweight racing flats won't seem such a bad idea after all."

    I grew up in Hawaii and although I did not run barefoot I went barefoot or in slippers amost all day long. I could walk on lava rocks without cutting my feet, thorns in sleeping grass, hot asphalt....

    "Interest in barefoot running seemed to wane until 2001, when Michael Warburton, an Aussie physical therapist and 2:42 marathoner, published an online paper titled, simply, "Barefoot Running." (You can view the paper at the sports science web site sportsci.org.) In his section on running economy, Warburton points out that the extra weight of shoes on your feet is much worse than a pound or two around your middle. Weight on your feet is subject to constant acceleration and deceleration (runners call these movements "strides"), which have a high energy cost. According to Warburton, research has shown that 100 grams of extra weight on your feet decreases your running economy by one percent. Simple math says that two 10-ounce shoes will make you more than five percent less efficient. That's a big deal. When you add five percent to Paul Tergat's marathon world record 2:04:55, he's a 2:11 guy, which doesn't net him enough for a warm bowl of ugali in the Kenyan highlands."
    runners world http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,5033,s6-187-0-0-6728,00.html

    A well cited article:
    Barefoot Running: A Natural Step for the Endurance Athlete
    -Dennis G. Driscoll
    http://nhscc.home.comcast.net/l3_paper.htm

    Scott Cuyjet
     
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
    6
    We need to be careful in distinguishing between unscientific mumbo jumbo and evidence. I don't dispute some of the alleged benefits of running barefoot, but where is the data? We have data that the windlass enhancing running shoes can, in some people, gets the heel off the ground sooner than running barefoot = run faster and more efficiently with running shoes.

    Without evidence and IMHO, barefoot running wll really only benefit a smaller proprotion of the population who have certain biomechaical characteristics. I have seen many injuries in runners who have been sucked in by the rhetoric and zealotry associated with the barefoot running. We need data on the characeristics of those that will and will not benefit, so proper advice can be given.

    I guess barefoot running can be compared to the threads we have had on manipulation and minimum incision surgery.

    1. It is a useful technique when used in conjunction with other things. The evidence is not great, but that does not make it wrong.

    vesus

    2. As a philospophy practiced by zealots, to the excluson of other things who do not know what evidence is.


    Anyone else notice this recurring theme, no matter what the topic... :confused:
     
  5. Todd Brown

    Todd Brown Member

    barefoot running vs pose method

    The barefoot running technique is very similar to that of the pose running technique mentiioned earlier in this thread by Kevin (i think) this technique is becoming increasingly popular and featured in a recent edition (March) of Sports Injury Bulletin, it talked about the effectiveness of this technique in preventing heel injuries. It was also clearly stated that this method of running is a practised/trained technique and something that had to be learned over time allowing eccentric and concentric muscles to be trained over a period of time.
     

  6. Scott, you do have tough feet. I am the opposite of you....tender footed. How many individuals do you think could run a barefoot marathon without injuring their feet?? Only those that grew up in Hawaii? I would estimate that only about 1% of the marathoners could do the event barefoot without serious problems.

    Scott, I suggest you continue to run barefoot since you are one of the few individuals within the running population that has feet that may be able to withstand the abuse that comes from running barefoot on hot pavement, asphalt, concrete and other various surfaces. However, as a podiatrist that has practiced for 20 years in sports medicine and having been a competetive distance runner myself with 13 marathons (best = 2:28, in shoes!!) over the past 32 years, I will continue to recommend to my patients to only run barefoot if they are willing to take the risk of injury to their plantar foot structures to shave 5 seconds per mile off their race times.

    The first published article that I know of that studied the effect of added mass to running shoes was by a few friends of mine from the UC Davis exercise physiology department where I ran cross country and track for my four years (Catlin, M.J., and R.H. Dressendorfer. Effect of shoe weight on the energy cost of running. Medicine and Science in Sports. 11: 80, 1979). Mike Catlin (two time winner of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run) and Rudy Dressendorfer, PhD (one of my instuctors in exercise physiology) did this study which showed when masses were added to the shoes (in specially sewed-on pockets onto the shoes) of runners that their oxygen uptake increased during steady state running on a treadmill.

    The increase in metabolic cost of running with any added mass on the foot is most likely due to the increased moment of inertia of the leg-foot segment at the knee and increased moment of inertia of the thigh-leg-foot segment at the hip. The increased moment of inertia at these segments will increase the work required to accelerate and decelerate the knee and hip during the forward recovery phase of running.

    One question that I have for you Scott. If barefoot running is such a superior way to train and race, why aren't there more runners doing it and why have their only been a few notable elite athletes (e.g. Abebe Bikila and Zola Budd) over the past 50 years that have won races while running barefoot???
     
  7. Todd Brown

    Todd Brown Member

    SMA conference coincides with melbourne marathon

    Dear Kevin,

    I have noticed that you are one of the keynote/invited speakers at the sports medicine australia conference in melbourne in october this year. A conference that i am looking forward to greatly but as a keen runner (in shoes) i also noticed that the melbourne marathon happens to be on the Sunday preceding the SMA conference. Just curious is this coincidence or forward planning on your behalf?

    From memory most of the runners in this race compete in shoes just for the record.

    Todd
     
  8. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

    Kevin wrote

    >If barefoot running is such a superior way to train and race, why aren't there more runners doing it and why have their only been a few notable elite athletes (e.g. Abebe Bikila and Zola Budd) over the past 50 years that have won races while running barefoot???


    Modern games are associated with proper attire and shoes are coveted icons. When I was researching the press coverage for the Greek Olympics, much was made of the poor relations who trained in barefeet, qualified then were given the shoes. <http://www.podiatry.curtin.edu.au/games04.html >. Sometimes this was done with great ceremony and deliberately to maximise publicity. These runners did not win medals but did take the shoes home as a prize equivalent to gold, silver or bronze. Multi nationals like Nike and Adidas are experiencing difficulty in breaking into lucrative markets, such as Iraq and Iran and much of the hype were for that purpose.

    In Steven Spielberg's excellent movie The Terminal, Tom Hanks character hits the US and says, "Where do I get the Nikes?" So advertising works and we are all influenced by it for good or bad. There is a strong tendency to be better heeled that others and so a hierarchy of shoes develops without really demonstrating any superior asset to functionality. As you know

    What is charming about your question is at the Ancient Olympics, which lasted longer than the present games, competitors were naked and in bare feet. When sandals were eventually worn this was considered effeminate and shunned by many. <http://www.podiatry.curtin.edu.au/sport.html >

    At that time normality of the foot would "unshod"

    It’s a funny world really.

    Enjoy Melbourne and take everything you need to wear for four seasons in one day.

    Cheers
    Cameron
    PS See if you can chat to the bare foot rogainers (Australian orienteering)
     
  9. Todd,

    I don't plan on running the marathon in Melbourne. My 2:28 was 25 years ago. Unfortunately, thousands of miles of running in my younger days allows my 48 year old legs to only go about 25 miles a week now.
     
  10. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    Here is an article from someone in your neck of the woods.

    Barefoot Running - http://sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm

    Michael Warburton

    Gateway Physiotherapy, Capalaba, Queensland, Australia 4157. Email

    Sportscience 5(3), sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm, 2001 (2564 words)

    Reviewers: Caroline Burge, School of Medicine, University of
    Queensland, Brisbane 4006, Australia; Larry M Feinman, Mountain
    Chiropractic, Lafayette, Colorado 80026, USA; Ian Shrier, Center for
    Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies, SMBD-Jewish General
    Hospital, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E2, Canada

    J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2004 Jan-Feb;94(1):53-8. Related Articles, Links


    Does footwear affect ankle coordination strategies?

    Kurz MJ, Stergiou N.

    HPER Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE 68182-0216, USA.

    The hypothesis of this study was that shoe hardness and footwear affect ankle coordinative strategies during the running stance period. Subjects ran at a self-selected pace under three conditions-barefoot, wearing a hard shoe, and wearing a soft shoe-while sagittal and frontal view kinematic data were collected. Dynamic systems theory tools were used to explore ankle coordinative strategies under the three conditions. No significant differences in coordination were found between the two shoe conditions. However, significant differences in ankle coordinative strategies existed between the shoe conditions and the barefoot condition. Changes in coordinative strategies may be related to different mechanisms to attenuate impact forces while running barefoot.

    Non-scientific articles http://runningbarefoot.org/?name=Articles

    The information is out there is you open yourself up to it.

    scott
     
  11. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    I am glad that you are at least open minded enough to consider it for some. Even walking barefoot can help the foot. Shoes with a heel change your alignment which can cause injury, shoes block sensing the ground which can help when stepping up or down, high heels - enough said, keeping feet confined to a dark, warm, moist environment can promote candida growth, corns, bunions.... It is not just about speed. In this forum I have read many posts of people with various running ailments say the went away through a barefoot lifestyle including running.
    http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/RunningBarefoot/

    Read some of these non-scientific articles and see what you think.

    http://runningbarefoot.org/?name=Articles

    In the end, "You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."
    -The Matrix - scene: woman in the red dress.
    complete transcript @
    http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Theater/9175/neo/matrixtranscript.
    html

    scott
     
  12. Thank you, Scott, for the quote from a popular science fiction movie. However, I don't understand how this quote has anything to do with the fact that most runners who were to try and run a marathon or even a 10K race barefoot over the typical asphalt surface would do more injury to themselves than if they were to run the same race in a good pair of lightweight racing flats. I think it is time, Scott, for you to get out of the Matrix and back to reality.

    Again, Scott, please answer this question for me since you seem to think that running in shoes has no benefit for any individual. If barefoot running is such a superior way to train and race, why aren't there more runners doing it and why have their only been a few notable elite athletes (e.g. Abebe Bikila and Zola Budd) over the past 50 years that have won races while running barefoot???
     
  13. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    I thought this answer was appropriate but my own response follows this quote:

    Cameron
    Moderator Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: United Kingdom
    Posts: 163

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kevin wrote

    >If barefoot running is such a superior way to train and race, why aren't there more runners doing it and why have their only been a few notable elite athletes (e.g. Abebe Bikila and Zola Budd) over the past 50 years that have won races while running barefoot???


    Modern games are associated with proper attire and shoes are coveted icons. When I was researching the press coverage for the Greek Olympics, much was made of the poor relations who trained in barefeet, qualified then were given the shoes. <http://www.podiatry.curtin.edu.au/games04.html >. Sometimes this was done with great ceremony and deliberately to maximise publicity. These runners did not win medals but did take the shoes home as a prize equivalent to gold, silver or bronze. Multi nationals like Nike and Adidas are experiencing difficulty in breaking into lucrative markets, such as Iraq and Iran and much of the hype were for that purpose.

    In Steven Spielberg's excellent movie The Terminal, Tom Hanks character hits the US and says, "Where do I get the Nikes?" So advertising works and we are all influenced by it for good or bad. There is a strong tendency to be better heeled that others and so a hierarchy of shoes develops without really demonstrating any superior asset to functionality. As you know

    What is charming about your question is at the Ancient Olympics, which lasted longer than the present games, competitors were naked and in bare feet. When sandals were eventually worn this was considered effeminate and shunned by many. <http://www.podiatry.curtin.edu.au/sport.html >

    At that time normality of the foot would "unshod"

    It’s a funny world really.

    Enjoy Melbourne and take everything you need to wear for four seasons in one day.

    Cheers
    Cameron
    PS See if you can chat to the bare foot rogainers (Australian orienteering)
    __________________

    Cameron Kippen, Podologist and Shoe Historian


    I would answer irrational fear in stepping on glass, rocks, other... I would also say there is a fear of going against social norms, looking weird, crazy or god forbid - uncivilized.
    I would answer status which is why the best long distance athletes, the Kenyans, that grew up running barefoot switch to shoes because it shows they have made it. Especially if they are getting them for free due to sponsorship.

    I would say that your closed mind missed the whole point in the quote, which held the same answer.

    '"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
    "What's for breakfast? said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
    "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
    Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
    "It's the same thing," he said."

    I on the other hand can realize that most will be afraid of the truth and I therefore would create a shoe based on running barefoot. A racing flat is close but the sole should be flat and flexible. Correct running form, which you have to do when running barefoot or risk injury involves an almost flat landing on the balls of your feet then a slight roll back to the heel before lifting the foot. People are taught to put their foot out in front and plant on their heel then roll through to the toe where you push off. It is not a natural way to run. Again, watch an unadulterated child run to see correct natural form. This forum is about how shoe technology has improved but running injuries have not decreased. Could the shoes causing the problems - hmmm. Apparently, not in your world.

    Maybe you need to get out of your ivory tower and not just regurgitate what you have been taught but actually think for yourself.

    Scott Cuyjet
     
  14. subing4miler

    subing4miler Member

    "I would answer irrational fear in stepping on glass, rocks, other... I would also say there is a fear of going against social norms, looking weird, crazy or god forbid - uncivilized.
    I would answer status which is why the best long distance athletes, the Kenyans, that grew up running barefoot switch to shoes because it shows they have made it. Especially if they are getting them for free due to sponsorship."



    I am no scientist nor am I a doctor but I know you can't make conclusions based off one piece of specific evidence. I know running related injuries are due to more than foot wear and that poor form isn't ALWAYs due to shoes. Any experience runner knows that diet, experience, core strength etc are all intertwined with running. Especially when you're running 90+ miles a week, which I don't think our bodies were made to do naturally. But in response to the Kenyan thing, so when they switch to shoes are they ultimatly doomed to have bad form for the rest of their shoe life?? Maybe they know somthing we don't, maybe they know that it really doesn't matter whether you wear shoes or not. IMHO your comment to me just seems like you're trying be different and grasp attention from others around you...
     
  15. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    First, we are taught bad form and the shoes perpetuate that. Even racing flats have a built up heel. Why build up the heel if it is not supposed to get the most impact.
    Second, in regards to the Kenyans they may have reatained their form even though they are running in shoes. I will have to look around when I have some time, but it would be interesting if they started to develop injuries they did not have running barefoot.
    I am not just trying to be different. Life is about self-discovery. Why try anything new at all.
    You probably did not read any of my preceeding posts but instead just the last one you quoted. I read about something and it made sense. I am now trying it out for myself. I am not so ignorant to quit if it does not work.
    Do a little research before you post next time.
    Scott
     
  16. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    Barefoot Bedouin Teenage Girls Tearing Up Israeli Track Circuit


    Barefoot Bedouin Teenage Girls Tearing Up Israeli Track Circuit
    by Joel Gordin

    James Fixx wrote in his 1979 bestseller The Complete Book of Running, "Think of what you are asking your feet to do when you run. Each shoe lands on the ground 1,000 or so times during one mile. If you're not wearing the right shoes, your chances of having trouble with your feet or somewhere else are greatly increased."

    "The only thing that advice was good for, was to set off the billion-dollar sports shoe industry, which is still thriving and misleading the public today." -Coach Antonio Santori

    If some day in the future you see an Israeli accept an Olympic medal for running, it is likely she will be a Bedouin Arab. And barefoot to boot.

    A neglected, weed-infested field that once was a running track near the ancient town of Acre draws teenage girls on Saturday mornings. They race around the field while their stocky, garrulous coach -- he is neither Israeli nor Bedouin, but an Italian -- bellows orders at them.

    Most of the young runners are Bedouin girls from the Galilee village of Arab Aramsha, but there are a sprinkling of (shoe-clad) Jewish teenagers as well.

    Antonio Santori and his pupils have started to attract international attention. ("The barefoot Bedouin will be world beaters," blared a recent banner headline in the Italian sports journal, Atletica).

    The experiment is serious sport, but more remarkably, a revolutionary step for the Bedouin girls: Muslim women are not supposed to wear shorts in public.

    For the past two years these girls have won every middle-distance (from 1,000 meters up to 10 kilometers), cross-country and road race in their age groups on the local circuit. Most of them usually win races against girls much older than themselves.

    The best of the bunch, Lotfia Juma, is only 14, but she won the under-19 section of a 10 km. event in March. Her time of 41:26 puts her among the top 10 women runners of all time for that distance.

    Six of the girls recently took part in an international cross-country tournament for youth in San Vittore, Italy. The team was Juma, Yasmin Sa'ad, 13, Rania Eyada, 17, and Sama Musa, 17, all from Arab Aramsha; and Sheni Bloch and Yufit Misgav, both 15-year-old Jewish girls from Kiryat Bialik.

    Running barefoot in cold weather, Juma came second out of 32 in the under-15 category for 2,000 meters, and Sa'ad came eighth. In the under-17 2,500 meters event, Eyada was third and Misgav sixth.

    The flamboyant Santori is passionately devoted to the sport. "My father was a Catholic, my mother was a Moslem and my wife is a Jew. Athletics is my religion," he says.

    Santori has used sport to overcome ethnic barriers in his adopted land. At the same time, he has opened new doors to Muslim women in Galilee. Fifteen years ago he founded the country's only Jewish-Arab running club, and he has single-handedly maintained the club. The girls' section is a spin-off.

    His Sulam Tsur road-running and marathon club was never intended to have political overtones, but it was living proof that Jews and Arabs could get along, at least on the sports field.

    In 1989 Santori was honored in parliament with a special certificate for "promoting sport and good relations between Jews and Arabs."

    In this year's Tiberias marathon (the official Israeli championship), four of the first 10 in the men's event were from Sulam Tsur -- as many as came from the well-heeled, well-established city clubs.

    Nothing stops Santori's 9- to 69-year-old runners, neither snow, nor sleet nor even missile attacks. "Once, a Katyusha [launched from Lebanon] fell on our starting line in the morning," says Santori. "By the afternoon, everyone was back running, skirting the hole in the ground."

    Santori first latched onto the winged heels of Bedouin girls in 1983, when Amal Abdalla drifted into his club, after discovering that she had athletic prowess. Until then, there were no Arab women runners.

    Abdalla's parents and brothers were adamant that she not take part in road races, appearing in shorts and an undershirt in public. Santori sat with them for hours, night after night, cajoling and persuading until they relented.

    Under Santori's tutelage, Abdalla made great strides, finishing first among women at the Tiberias marathon in 1988.

    She was chosen for the national team and Santori had to go through the motions with her family all over again, to get them to allow her to go overseas and stay at hotels and training camps in a mixed group of Jewish men and women.

    "I had to take on the neighbors and the village elders as well," he recalls.

    He won them over because "I was direct and to the point," he says. "Contrary to popular myth, Arabs don't appreciate circumlocution -- at least not by Westerners who lack the subtlety to make it interesting." He adds: "It helped that I am not Jewish."

    Abdalla eventually gave up athletics and became a laboratory technician. But by then Santori had built up his reputation in the area's Arab villages. Fathers were ready to entrust their children to him.

    The idea of a multi-racial club for girls was born about two years ago. Relations between the two groups are correct but formal.

    "They [the Bedouin] come from a different world," says Bloch. "I have nothing in common with them but sport."

    "I once asked them to visit me at my home, but they did not turn up. My parents won't allow me to go to the village," laments Misgav.

    The Bedouin girls, smiling softly, say they love athletics, and they like their Jewish teammates and want to run for Israel. They are shy, and when speaking to strangers keep their eyes on the ground and hold a hand in front of their mouth when they speak.

    Santori blustered that he is not interested in the social relations between his charges. "I am trying to make athletes out of these girls, not organizing a tea party."

    He is tough with his charges. "A sportsperson must be disciplined. When I started training Amal Abdalla, she insisted on wearing long pants and covering her arms while running. I told her: `This is Antonio's running club. I am your trainer, not the Prophet Mohammed. You do what I tell you or go back and stay in the Dark Ages.' She was hurt and angry, but she returned to run. I don't care what my charges think of me -- only that they run fast."

    Then why doesn't he insist that the Bedouin girls wear track shoes?

    "That's a different story. If I made them wear shoes, it would cut their speed by up to 20 percent. Shoes are not necessary for those who can manage without them. The great Ethiopian Abebe Bikele won the marathon gold medal at the 1960 Olympics, running barefoot. The South African middle-distance woman runner Zola Budd also ran barefoot at the Olympics."

    He is reminded what long-distance running expert James Fixx wrote in his 1979 bestseller The Complete Book of Running, which launched a million joggers throughout the world: "Think of what you are asking your feet to do when you run. Each shoe lands on the ground 1,000 or so times during one mile. If you're not wearing the right shoes, your chances of having trouble with your feet or somewhere else are greatly increased."

    "The only thing that advice was good for," sneers Santori, "was to set off the billion-dollar sports shoe industry, which is still thriving and misleading the public today."


    by Joel Gordin (1995 June 2), Barefoot Bedouin Teenage Girls Tearing Up Israeli Track Circuit, Jerusalem Post ServiceRunningBarefoot.org
     
  17. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
    6
    Not one piece of the information provided gives me any confidence that running barefoot has any real general benefit (I am not saying it doesn't) - it may well benefit specific individuals, but based on the available information and evidence and on the balance of that, I won't be giving any advice to do it.

    I visisted some of the forums in which running barefoot is being promoted and was horrified at the "religious zealotry" associated with it :rolleyes:

    The zealots promoting it need to get away from the "zealotry" and understand what evidence is. (Bit like Tom Cruise and his latest outbursts about psychiatry based on the zealotry of Scientology)

    Promoting of running barefoot to the wrong runners has the potential to be harmful.

    What is needed is some definitive prospective study (properly controlled) on injury rates and some definitive study of the characteristics of those who can benefit, so we can pick them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2005
  18. subing4miler

    subing4miler Member

    Craig, most of that won't happen because a lot of these barefoot runners aren't interested in proving anything or provideing legitimate evidence. They simply take the little advice they hear and turn it into a religion. Its a society of hippies is what it seems. For cying out loud the guy who run's the barefootrunning.org site and the Form is not even a doctor. It just shows how gullible people are. I don't believe any true elite athelete would indulge themselves this deeply into somthing so mediocre. Even Kenyan athelets who RUN IN SHOES like Paul Tergat for many years and run injury free. Like guys like Steve Scott who run for many years successfully. There are thousands of elite atheletes I can name off and almost all of them have run successfully in shoes.

    They say that its so unatural to run and that everyone will get injuries because they run in shoes. What they don't realize is that running is more than JUST SHOES! Its about your whole body and injuries don't come just because of shoes alone (but in some cases maybe). But you can sway their minds otherwise because they feel doctors like you our out there just to take the money. Also people these days aren't well informed about how to properly train and you'll see a lot of them attempting marathons. But its like trying to change the minds of 60 yr old men (no offense to anyone here) .
     
  19. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    Yes, I agree that some of them are over the top. As a provider it is good to know about running barefoot so when that one person does injure their foot or come to you with a plantar wart you don't immediately say, "You need to put on some shoes."

    Thanks for a stimulating debate and for venturing to the forum. The articles are little more interesting (see below - Barefoot Bedouin Teenage Girls Tearing Up Israeli Track Circuit)
    http://runningbarefoot.org/?name=Articles

    Scott Cuyjet :)
     
  20. subing4miler

    subing4miler Member

    Again running relate injuries are not ALWAYS due to shoes. Running involves more than just your feet and legs. If everything is not in tune you could probably have more problems. Lack of strength in other area like your core muslces and such do lead to injuries.
     
  21. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    That I will agree with.
     
  22. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    Craig,

    One last site to look at. Another crazy ;) This was posted to the runningbarefoot forum. The author of the site is self described as, "Bruce Thomson is a veterinarian now in semi-retirement after some 22 years experience in mixed practice..."

    keep in mind his picture of the bushman's foot touchdown is off even based on his own discription of "Mid foot landing (see pictures below)" The picure is less of a heel strike but not a mid-foot landing.

    http://www.easyvigour.net.nz/fitness/h_gluteus_max_leg.htm

    scott
     
  23. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
    6
    The information on that site is dangerous, as some people might actually believe it. It certainly lacks any evidence to support it. I did a Medline search and notice the person behind the site has no scientific publicatons on this. (he does use a lot of refereces, but none of them support the arguments and many have been discredited elsewhere)

    The only way that an "An Engaged Gluteus Maximus aids Correction of the Patella Q Angle and Collapsed Arches (Flat Feet), & is nature's answer to custom orthotics" actually works is that if that the problem in the first place. The author of the site actually appears to have no idea why a foot pronates ("arch collapse") and Q ankle increases.

    Here is an eg:
    The most common cause of pronated foot is probably tight calf muscles. As there is no range of motion at the ankle the foot pronates to get the range of motion in the midfoot. It has to do this for the tibia to move over the foot. How is it remotely possible that changing the timing or strength of gluteus muscles (or running barefoot for that matter), alter the need for the foot to pronate due to the tight calf muscle --- its not even remotely possible (only exercise to stretch calf or heel raises will do that).

    Here is another eg:
    Forefoot varus is a structural problem so that the foot has to pronate to get the medial side of the forefoot to the ground - how can anything you do to the gluteals stop that? --- no matter what you do up there, the medial side of the forefoot is still going to have to come down to the ground (by pronating!)

    Think through every other cause of a pronated foot and the mechanism .... there is no way changes at the gluteal level can affect them

    I will concede that a weak gluteal or out of phase gluteal function may lead to excessive internal rotation of the leg and pronate the foot ---- but it must be so rare as I have never seen it clinically.

    The internet is dangerous place with so much mis-information.
     
  24. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    I definitely agree.
    scott
     
  25. Todd Brown

    Todd Brown Member

    dangerous website

    Have to agree the claims made on that website are outrageous and dangerous to the general public using the internet "google" as a research tool. People believe it because they "read it on the internet"

    Just a quick question. I have had pt's who have read "running shoe technology does not reduce injuries article" in the Sydney Morning Herald and they are starting to as questions about whether they should be wearing shoes or going barefoot. My reply has been to isolate the story as a personal experience and to state that there is not a body of evidence to support the claims made in the article. Is this fair enough or am i misleading my pts.
    :confused:
    Todd Brown
     
  26. sezuni

    sezuni Member

    As a barefoot runner who is also a realist, going barefoot is not for everyone. Having said that I must add that people have been more or less forced into shoes. Most children avoid them if possible. Granted, they would also run around naked if allowed. Our society has evolved to include shoes as a cultural norm.
    I would recommend starting with walking barefoot as much as possible as it would strengthen muscles and work the tendons and ligaments that don't get much work confined to shoes. If you have read anything behind the Nike free concept shoe 5.0 is the middle of a continuum with 0 being barefoot and 10 being a stiff shoe. The problem with the 5 is that it has too much heel. A natural barefoot technique, which they have mentioned, involves a forefoot landing, not just a flexible sole. The heel perpetuates training that teaches a heel landing which is when impact is the greatest. The other problem with a sole vs bare is that you cannot feel the ground. Have you ever had a client who stepped on the edge of a stair of curb and twisted their ankle. That does not happen barefoot.
    Next I would have them do what the Stanford Track team does, they are the ones Nike studied for the free. http://www.runnersweb.com/running/r...m/running/news/rw_news_20050526_PRP_Free.html
    They do some of their training barefoot on grass. Grass however is not without its risks. You cannot see what is hidden in the grass such as sharp objects as well as holes. I prefer smooth asphalt or concrete. When I started I went barefoot as much as possible. When not barefoot at work I wear moccasins without a hard sole or insole. They have two layers of deerskin. After a month I started to run barefoot. I went from 8 miles 3x/wk to 10-20 min. I have been increasing about 5 min a week. The good thing about barefooting is it teaches you to listen to your body. You also have to use proper technique to minimize abrading your soles. Good running form is a forward lean from the ankles with knees bent and the feet are lifted and placed in front of your to keep yourself from falling over. Danny Dreyer has a fairly good description in shoes in his book Chi Running. He has a website http://www.chirunning.com/shopping/customer/product.php?productid=3
    I did my first race last mos. a 5k and finished in 18:15 reducing my time from last year by about 1 min. I am almost 37 and have been training for ~4 years after an 8 year hiatus due to starting a family.
    Ultimately, I think the best providers are non-judgmental guides. Tell them that there is not much research in regards to running barefoot but that does not mean that if done research would not show that if given enough time and done properly maybe there would be less injuries than running with shoes. There used to be no research on the benefits of garlic either. Tell them to read what’s out there but to be careful. If someone like me has been wearing shoes for most of my life, although, I did grow up in Hawaii and went shoeless or in slippers till about age 18 when I moved the mainland (continental US), it is going to take time to get to the place where my 4 year old is. He can run barefoot on any surface without thought. He just does it.
    I still think the runningbarefoot.org site has some good information on it. Advise your clients to beware of false prophets and to listen to their bodies. As I stated in the beginning - it is not for everyone. Especially not the weak of sole.
    Again, here is an article from someone in your neck of the woods.
    http://sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm
    Barefoot Running

    Michael Warburton

    Gateway Physiotherapy, Capalaba, Queensland, Australia 4157. Email

    Sportscience 5(3), sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm, 2001 (2564 words)

    Reviewers: Caroline Burge, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4006, Australia; Larry M Feinman, Mountain Chiropractic, Lafayette, Colorado 80026, USA; Ian Shrier, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies, SMBD-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E2, Canada

    scott
     
  27. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    Runners want feet to bare it all

    Runners want feet to bare it all

    By Jeannine Stein / Los Angeles Times

    Full story
     
  28. dgroberts

    dgroberts Active Member

    They obviously don't have a problem with dog $hit in Hawaii :D

    Or glass, old rusty nails, tin cans, burnt out cars, snow/ice, general detritis etc.

    And I live in a nice suburb of West Yorkshire.

    I'll stick to shoes ta.
     
  29. The advent of activity specific apparell is one of humanity's wonderful inventions. It provides so much choice to those who can afford, and wish to try all the available 'technlologies' for sport. Individuals can choose to buy into sports apparell, and don the $250 labelled runners, with $36 moisture wicking socks, and find their comfort and performance so enhanced that it's worth the cost.
    Another weekend runner may feel that the costly anti-pronatory shoes reccommended them by a podiatrist, for their soft hypermobile feet, feel terrible, and - incidentally - 'I NOW have an achy achilles, and my heel hurts...'. So, everyone works differently. And sports footwear is simply part of a huge market of sports-specific apparell, where everyone is free to make a choice or purchase and ascertain any personal benefits.
    Some people believe that underwired bras present a health risk to women. I believe I wouldn't be looking so good in a tank top after a lifetime of sport, without my choice from the apparell market, of a good sports bra. I think my feet have fared pretty well too. From well-fitted, protective sport shoes. I like my choices. And isn't it part of our evolution as a species, that we are responsible for our choices? Barefoot works for some of our kind, and shod for others. Being able to recognise a good choice for yourself ensures species success. Although genetically, we are all related, and indeed even genetically close to chimpanzees, and other flora and fauna(!), each of us still manages to have a very individual physique within our type. Thank goodness there are people keen to study, compare, test, and apply science in general, and then let us in on their results. So we can make informed choices...
     
  30. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
    6
    Funny how the facts can ruin a good story....just picked up this from the News Sentinel:
    Some of the advice in there is probaby the opposite of reality...shame about that... :(
     
  31. Through the ages, what we KNOW to be true, and KNOW to be fact changes constantly. When did we know that the Earth was an orb? - some time after we knew that it was flat ("course it's flat, or we'd all slide off!").
    Sir Newton knew that we were subject to physical laws - which let us live on our orb without sliding off, but also believed that there must be a formula to alter metals to create more valuable metals - Alchemy. We accept gravity, but we've stopped pottering around with mercury to get gold from lead, and given it up as a bad job.
    Our species evolved successfully through tens of thousands of years, by hunting cooperatively, and being able to produce a fair turn of speed - barefoot. By being fast, barefoot and smart, we've evolved to be able to hunt out a Drive-through or supermarket, specialise ourselves to stay seated for entire working days, and create good footwear to support us when we do choose to run on our concrete creations - roads!
    Even as we were hunting things to kill, human groups would have known that some among them were excellent runners, and jolly good with a long spear, so were included in the hunt. Whereas the family in the next cave tended to complain about achy knees if they ran too much and were better suited to foraging for wild parsnip, or setting traps.
    These days I'm more of a parsnip hunter, but I can see how humans have thrived and succeeded, with a history of being barefoot - and how attractive this concept can be, but we are possibly a different animal now. Even buying parsnips by the bag...
    I'm a big fan of your studies Craig. This Windlass idea works often, but I would still be whacking a medial rearfoot onto supinated people if you hadn't made your results available. My career has evolved successfully because of this shared knowledge, and the good results my patients enjoy from a forefoot valgus posting.
    we shouldn't feel challenged by sectors who loudly proclaim that modern running shoes disadvantage us. My patients are welcome to try barefoot running, and I won't be responsible for whatever tendonitis they develop. I will be responsible if I prescibe an orthotic, and shoes, but I can trust my history of good results, and the research and testing work that provided the treatment formulas.
    Are the barefoot advocates responsible for adverse results from the experiment?
    Are there podiatrists feeling threatened by subversive barefoot theories?
    It's great fun to discuss, but surely, like the oil companies, the major sportshoe companies would get a hit out on anyone saying consumers don't need their products?
     
  32. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
    6
    Mechanical Comparison of Barefoot and Shod Running

    Int J Sports Med 2005; 26: 593-598

    Mechanical Comparison of Barefoot and Shod Running

     
  33. at the beginning of the discussion "Running shoe technology does not reduce injuries" the findings were, "although runningshoe tech has improved, injury rates generally remain the same".................did these epidemilogical studies include performance level as a concomitant variable........maybe there has been an increase in general performance thanks to the improved tech.........athletes though performing at increased levels would still have injuries, ie same % of athletes would train/race till they injured themselves..............re Mr True, who seems to race/train on natural varying terrain claims sandals (ie no control from upper) are better....fair enough isn't it, modern sports shoe technology is based on flat surfaces, so on varying terrain wouldn't the uppers (and maybe the heel sole flairs) exert unecessary forces on the foot ie modern running shoe were not developed for variable terrain but for those horrid flat synthetic surfaces ....wont training barefoot on these surfaces result in an eventual increase in incidence and shortening? of onset of the degenerative arthritides
     
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