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There is no barefoot running debate

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Craig Payne, May 10, 2011.

  1. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Because the arch/feet aren't fully functioning.

    How on earth can the arch fully function when it's being supported, lol.

    Your logic is off.
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    1. When I run my muscles are working hard in my shoes - how does that weaken them?
    2. All the kinematic data on what motion control shoes do pretty much show that they do not really control motion, so the muscles must still be working just as hard
    3. Who said motion control shoes actually support the arch
    4. If a non-runner starts running tomorrow, then their muscles are going to get stronger wearing a motion control shoe, NOT weaker (I have pointed this one out to you twice and you have not responded)
    5. There is no evidence that they weaken muscles
    6. If this was true, then you would expect runners to have weaker muscles than the general population. I would be prepared to bet money that they don't - I would suspect that they are actually stronger
    7. Foot orthotics, that support the foot, have been shown by research to either strengthen or not weaken the muscles, so why would shoes (I have twice pointed this out to you and you have not responded)
    8. EMG studies of running shoes, show the muscles still working hard
    9. etc

    Who's logic is way off?
  3. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    In terms of strengthening, can't you see why running barefoot (the foot fully functioning) knocks spots wearing shoes that in many cases can prevent the proper functioning of the feet due to the supports?. These supports are stopping the muscles from working which leads to muscles weakening & can atrophy, which leads to injury.
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Which bit of that is not what the evidence says do you not get? Do I have to type slower or something? Why does the research evidence show that foot orthotics either strengthen or do not weaken the muscles? (the fourth time I have put this to you now!).

    I have no doubt that barefoot running makes muscles stronger (I stated that several times in this and other threads), but how does that show they weaker to start with? It just shows that muscles are working harder when barefoot (surely that is a sign of an inefficient gait and could be a bad thing?). If this is supposed to help injury, then why are there so many injuries in barefoot runners?? Why are barefoot runners creating so much work for the running injury clinics?
  5. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    I have never seen a runner with muscles that have atrophied. All the runners I treat have strong muscles, even the ones wearing the most motion controlling shoes.
  6. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    It's probably because there is an overuse of muscles, that haven't being fully functioning when wearing shoes.

    You can't suddenly switch between the two & put in the same miles. The muscles simple haven't been given the necessary conditioning or time to adjust.
  7. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

  8. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

  9. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Fibber ;)
  10. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    I hope for his or her sake they have no bona fides.
    Look at these pearls of wisdom-
    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
    -William Shakespeare

    “To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.”

    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."

    Even Forrest Gump knew he did not know...
  11. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member


    Craig and others, it is obvious no lay person would spend this amount of time bashing valid science and promoting faulty, non-medical ideations on a professional forum. Sicknote has an obvious agenda and an obsession with 'impact landing' and 'barefoot running', that much is clear.

    Where else on these boards have we seen this common theme? The transverse met arch was bait I offered up to another individual back in July and I doubt any lay person would even be aware of it. This person is in one of the health professions, I seriously doubt podiatry and just has not done their homework. That or as Craig is fond of saying a person's attachment to their beliefs are entwined in their motive to make a profit (something like that anyway).

    This "Sicknote" appeared just after that thread and regurgitated the transverse met arch myth above on this thread. Coincidence? I doubt it.

    I wonder if Admin can log IP addresses and determine if Sicknote is in the U.S.? I'd bet that he is and that his rants coincide with a certain professional promoting a book and product centered around the "barefoot" trend.
  12. Athol Thomson

    Athol Thomson Active Member

    Craig that quote is superb!

    Loving your work sickone......

    Taking the heat off anyone else looking stupid on the forum for a while.

    I grew up wearing no shoes until the age of 12 years old in outback Australia and competed in about 7 years worth of district athletics competitions barefoot.

    Other than being able to run over bull-heads (thorns) and hot tarmac roads without any dramas it has not given me MR INCREDIBLE super hero foot strength or made me more attractive to the opposite sex!

    I had bilateral medial tibial pain from the age of 5-12 years old that, was at times severe. But I just loved the feeling of being barefoot and it was hot.

    And you know what? I don't get on barefoot running forums to tell them I was injured as a kid when running barefoot and that it is the work of the devil. There is so many other variables involved.

    My sisters also ran barefoot for 12 years. Two of them were pain free while one also suffered ongoing shin pain.

    So 2 injured out of 4 children who all lived barefoot for 12 years. (big school and shoes started at 13 years old)

    Did we transition to barefoot slowly? Ah yeah from birth onwards...

    Does it help on this professional forum? Not one bit....

    Barefoot Zealots......this is called an anecdotal story.......it is not evidence. It is not a study.

    Not many podiatrist I know have a problem with barefoot running. It is the people with hidden agendas talking crap with no evidence that is an issue.

  13. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    :good: Athol
  14. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Yet somehow, I came across a link to this thread from a barefoot site saying that this is an anti-barefoot discussion :bash:
  15. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Does this ring any bells?

    Confirmation bias

    Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information that confirms or supports one's prior personal beliefs or values.[1] It is an important type of cognitive bias that has a significant effect on the proper functioning of society by distorting evidence-based decision-making. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. For example, a person may cherry-pick empirical data that supports one's belief, ignoring the remainder of the data that is not supportive. People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. The effect is strongest for desired outcomes, for emotionally charged issues, and for deeply entrenched beliefs.

    Confirmation bias is a broad construct covering a number of explanations. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations).

    A series of psychological experiments in the 1960s suggested that people are biased toward confirming their existing beliefs. Later work re-interpreted these results as a tendency to test ideas in a one-sided way, focusing on one possibility and ignoring alternatives ("myside bias", an alternative name for confirmation bias). In certain situations, this tendency can bias people's conclusions. Explanations for the observed biases include wishful thinking and the limited human capacity to process information. Another explanation is that people show confirmation bias because they are weighing up the costs of being wrong, rather than investigating in a neutral, scientific way. However, even scientists and intelligent people can be prone to confirmation bias.

    Confirmation biases contribute to overconfidence in personal beliefs and can maintain or strengthen beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. Poor decisions due to these biases have been found in political, organizational, financial and scientific contexts. For example, confirmation bias produces systematic errors in scientific research based on inductive reasoning (the gradual accumulation of supportive evidence). Similarly, a police detective may identify a suspect early in an investigation, but then may only seek confirming rather than disconfirming evidence.

    1. ^ Nickerson, Raymond S. (June 1998), "Confirmation bias: A ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises", Review of General Psychology, 2 (2): 175–220, doi:10.1037/1089-2680.2.2.175
  16. Ian Linane

    Ian Linane Well-Known Member

    Major issue to watch out for in forensic work and when you realise how much it affects your thinking you start to really double take on things you do at times. Dr Itel Dror of Southampton University has done extensice studies on it. Worth reading his work (he runs courses as well), especially the impact of it on a finger prints study they did!!!
  17. What you wrote on the 10MAY was perfect! This is my fifth year of running barefoot, and it works for me. In the month of May I ran 3 marathons, barefoot. I have never done this with shoes. I have NO knee pain, or back pain. I did have both when running with shoes.
    After reading your information, I can honestly tell you that in my case, it has worked for me. I am NOT a foot expert, but it has forced me to run right, so the rest of my body is not feeling pain. I can honestly tell you that in the beginning, I was running barefoot like I was running with shoes, and it did not work AT ALL! I am not fast, as I do not want to be, as I run so I can eat!

    Every sentence that you wrote made perfect sense, and I appreciate it.
    Thanks again.
  18. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    The irony ;)

    Did you not read the 3rd from last post before you wrote this or are you taking the Michael?
  19. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Here is a video of a fellow ultra runner, Jared Campbell trail running. Pay attention to how often his heels hit the ground at least on the first half of his run. I'm not sure I'd classify the second half of his run as running. The trail he is on is very similar to the trails I run on in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. For that matter, one of Jared's near term goals is to set the summitting record for all 54 of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks.

    Hopefully by watching this video, you'll have an idea what I'm thinking about when I speak of running in lightweight shoes. Also, why I think barefoot running is totally impractical for the type of running I do.

    Simon, if you'd like to consider this recreational jogging, that's fine with me. Anything to be learned from Jared would have to be anecdotal, not a lot of subjects around like him. n=1.


    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  20. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Dr. Yessis was kind enough to submit the following thought-provoking entry on barefoot running. He brings up some great points on technique and minimalist running shoes.

    The last few years running technique has been receiving more attention. Not only have more articles appeared in running magazines, as for example, the technique analysis of Lauren Fleshman in Running Times and in mainstream magazines such as the New Yorker, but also in major newspapers such as the New York Times.

    Interest in running technique probably stems from the barefoot running boom and the increased use of minimalist type shoes. With these shoes it is impossible to run with the typical technique used by most long distance runners, i.e., having touchdown occur on the heel. The reason for this is very simple; it hurts too much.

    As a result runners are finding that they must modify their technique to land more midfoot or ball-heel. How they do this however, often leaves much to be desired. Because running technique has been ignored for so many years, there is very little information available on how an effective midfoot landing should take place.

    Because of this most runners must learn to change their technique by trial and error rather than using what is already known effective means of executing the actions needed for an effective and safe touchdown. One source for such information is the second edition of Explosive Running.

    Much detail is devoted to the touchdown in this book as well as exercises that can improve the strength of the muscles involved and to learn the muscular feel for executing the actions needed to bring about a safe and effective landing. The information is supported with sequence pictures taken from organic digital film.
  21. Christ on a bike :bash::bash::bash::bash::bash::bash: And WTF is "organic digital film"? Three word question, ready? Kinematics versus kinetics?
  22. Griff

    Griff Moderator

  23. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recreation

    Although much of that looked more like recreational crawling, the rock music not withstanding (pun intended), since as far as I'm aware human running doesn't usually involve a quadruped gait.

    If I was being kind, I'd say it was a recreational scramble:

    Whatever you want to call it, it wasn't you.

    Two sugars, please sweetheart.
  24. Athol Thomson

    Athol Thomson Active Member

  25. blinda

    blinda MVP

  26. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, because I haven't been able to see you in person, it took me a while to figure out what is going on through your writing. Eventually I did and it all makes complete sense to me. Because of what seems very apparent to me at this point, just like the last exchange, I'm going to take the high road and not entertain your dialog. It would be pointless to do otherwise.

    For the benefit of others who might be reading this post, the mountains in Utah where this is filmed are pretty tame in comparison to the mountains I train on in Colorado. I used to run a 100 mile trail run in the San Juan mountains in SW Colorado called the Hardrock 100. The race is a huge 100 mile loop that includes over 33,000 feet of climb and 33,000 feet of descent. For comparison, if you could climb Everest from sea level, it rises to 26,000 feet. The course has an average elevation of 11,000 feet above sea level summiting 11 passes or mountains over 12,000 feet high. The high point of the course is Mt Handies at 14,050 feet above sea level. There are several sections along the course that use fixed ropes in place in order to be able to negotiate the climbs. After doing this run 3 times, I felt I had nothing more to prove to myself or to others so I moved on to other adventures. Currently I'm planning a solo, unsupported 100 mile run that will include six 14,000 peaks in the Sawatch range in Colorado. There will be no fanfare, just me, a small pack with warm clothes, food, a medical kit and a flashlight. I'll carry a filter bottle and drink from the streams. I expect to complete it in 35 hrs, non stop.

    The course that Jared was on was very short and tame in comparison. Scrambling is a technique used to quickly cover steep inclines of 45 degrees or more. There are few 14,000 peaks in Colorado that don't require scrambling at some point.

    When I saw the video, several things came to mind. There are probably plenty who read this forum who think of "running" as something entirely different than the mountain running you saw in the film. What Jared was doing was far different than the image of some guy plodding down a flat, paved road training for his next local 10K. I also thought that the lab research and studies performed that so many hold such great importance to, consist of force plates, high speed cameras, treadmills and surveys. These studies are measuring things that have little to do with the type of running I engage in or think about.

    A great example is when I asked about the reduction of shear stress on this forum and the responses I got. You can see from the film the huge role the reduction in shear force plays when mountain running. Yet, people were thinking of slipping and sliding or running on a "tuned" track while I was thinking of running on terrain similar to what Jared was running on. I was accused of not knowing how to ask the question in order to google to find research on this. When in fact, the person while he may have thought he had all the answers, really had no clue about what I was talking about.

    The point is that the treadmill, force plate, high speed camera model doesn't really fit when you move to the mountains. If you wanted to learned about the performance characteristics of a particular shoe used for running and scrambling in the mountains, measuring something on a treadmill while filming just aint gonna cut it. Instead, if you really want to learn about the functionality of a particular shoe, you are left with the anecdotal experience of someone who is actually capable of covering terrain like that. The shoe companies sponsor these runners so they can get direct feedback from them on their products. In Jared's case, it is La Sportiva.

    I have been running, scrambling, climbing in the mountains of Colorado for over 30 years. If someone really wants to think otherwise that is fine by me, they really don't know.

  27. Dana, for the record, we have mountains in the UK and the rest of Europe too. Some of us are very familiar with activities people undertake on these. The answers you got regarding shear forces remain- they change the direction of the net GRF vector, whether your on a mountain or the M25.

    Some of us are also familiar with the footwear la sportiva manufacture, some of us actually own la sportiva footwear. I'm pretty keen on several mountain sports; I'm keen on understanding the biomechanics of running. Dana, it's you I'm not interested in, nor your running anecdotes. If wanted to read anecdotes from runners, I'd go onto a runners forum, not a forum for podiatrists, which is what this used to be. I'm sick of running zealots finding there way here and getting in the way of the discussions, as it seems are several of my colleagues. http://www.podiatry-arena.com/podiatry-forum/showthread.php?t=68340\\

    I hope you enjoy your solo expedition, I really do. But go tell some people who might actually be interested over on the "solo expedition forum"; this is Podiatry Arena, the clue is in the name.
  28. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Dr. Yessis inspired me to share the charts on heel strike force patterns vs fore foot landing force patterns from Harvard. Many general patterns exist on foot landings such as for totals, but heel landings have a tiny double hump, like a oven mitt. Different running methods such as extensive tempo, running drills, plyometrics, and sprinting have different foot strike patterns. Acceleration and max velocity have unique foot patterns, and between athletes slight differences exist. In lifting, many coach push off the heels to get more posterior chain while you teach a rolling method for many jumping exercises. The literature is mixed with regards to injury patterns but moderation is a safe bet with me. So far the research shows that arch strength is not built up by running with minimalist shoes so I have to see what the mechanisms are with barefoot running that may help keep athletes healthy.


    Is a balanced approach safer?.
  29. Sick-meister:

    You went from being a student to now trying to teach us about running biomechanics?!:bang:

    Why don't you go to another internet forum where you can at least have the appearance of actually knowing something more than the others who are members of the forum?

    As far as I can see, you would make even the dullest high-school student look like Albert Einstein.

    If I had any say in this matter, I would kick your a** out of this forum.:mad::butcher:
  30. Thanks, we understand force/ time curves and heel strike transients. We also understand that forefoot striking barefoot runners get injured and don't necessarily "stay healthy". It's a good job you're here otherwise I don't think I'd know which way round to sit on the toilet seat. That said, I'm not convinced that you do. So why should I listen to someone that squats facing the cistern?

  31. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Rearfoot striking --> greater heel strike transient --> potentially a cause of problems
    Forefoot striking --> greater ankle dorsiflexion moments; greater forefoot dorsiflexion moments; greater inversion moments --> potentially a cause of problems

    Not sure why Lieberman just focused on the rearfoot striking and not the change in moments that occur in forefoot striking.
  32. Suggestions of an agenda? Remind me, did he and vibram have any financial arrangements?
  33. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Yes they did, and it was not declared in the publication of this paper on Nature.
  34. Hmmmm, so that would make his research results highly questionable, in the same way that ya' man involved in the MMR vaccine scandal who published that paper in the Lancet was taken to count for having vested financial interest, shouldn't the same thing happen in this case?
  35. Athol Thomson

    Athol Thomson Active Member

    Was on his Harvard site earlier by coincidence and noticed a mention of vibram funding at the bottom of the page now.



    Below is a direct Quote from the FAQ section on the same website.

    Do barefoot runners get injured less?
    Barefoot runners often adopt forefoot or midfoot strike gaits and have a softer, more gentle landing, which may reduce their risk of injury. While there are anectodal reports of barefoot runners being injured less, there is very little scientific evidence to support this hypothesis at this time. Well-controlled studies are needed to determine whether barefoot running results in fewer injuries.

    Apologies if this has been covered previously.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  36. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    In fairness, he has never made a secret of the fact that Vibram financially support him.

    The paradox is that the "Church" are dismissive of the research funded by the running shoe companies, but happy to trust Lieberman's work! ... don't figure! You can't have it both ways.
  37. I know why....because he is a barefoot runner and receives financial support from Vibram for his Harvard website and his research.


    Here is an interesting exchange from Dr. Steven Robbins to Dan Lieberman:



    Attached Files:

  38. Attached Files:

  39. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Kevin, if you ran 5:10 in shoes & a 5:05 barefooted...

    Why wouldn't you want to take advantage & build on that?.

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