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Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, May 5, 2010.

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  1. robert bijak

    robert bijak Banned

    Dear Mr. Payne, "the church of barefoot running", I love it! I'm flabbergasted the common nonsense of barefoot running is being outed finally. Despite all the ground force reactive studies, quicker achilles toe off nonsense studies, less metabolic use studies, these people are going to cut themselves, fracture themselves, abrade themselves and bruise themselves...Amen Sir! Now file quietly out of the church of barefoot running. robert bijak, dpm
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    This is the core of the issue I have and have stated it numerous times in the thread on Barefoot Running Debate. There is not one study that has shown any of that. Many in the barefoot running community misunderstand, misquote and misrepresent the research into believing thats what it says when it does not. It is the evangelical way that the science is misrepresented that I have a problem with. If people want to run barefoot, I don't have an issue with that ...
  3. CamWhite

    CamWhite Active Member


    The barefoot running zealots remind me of an old skit on Saturday Night Live called "Johnny Canal". In the skit, John Malkovich portrays Johnny Canal, a buckskin-clad pioneer who proposes (to the founding fathers) an intricate system of canals to travel across the colonies, in lieu of roads or railroads.

    Every time one of the founding fathers suggested his proposal was "ridiculous", Johnny Canal would stop, think for a second, draw his hunting knife and lunge at his accuser. I tried to find video footage of this skit, but came up empty.
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Good analogy! Thats one thing you notice about the barefoot running community when they are confronted with anything they interpret as being negative about barefoot running, they attack the messenger and not the message. They take pot shots and abuse the person making the comments and can not deal with the issues. Very irrational.
  5. robert bijak

    robert bijak Banned

    I hope Dr. Kirby has been reading this.
  6. Robert:

    I am so glad to see that you are so concerned for my welfare.

    If you would actually take the time to read any of the threads on barefoot running, and not assume what my opinions are on a subject first, you would see that my good friend Craig Payne and I are in complete agreement regarding barefoot running.
  7. ParkourTio

    ParkourTio Welcome New Poster

    Hi there everyone.
    Completely new to this site but after researching on the internet, i stumbled upon this incredibly long but interesting discussion.
    Now, i am in no way an authority on running, on fitness or on barefoot practice. However, after several years training in Parkour, i would say that i have a pretty darn good awareness of my entire body. I know how to correct balance, i know where my legs are if i am doing a particualaly complicated movement. Pretty good awareness.
    A few years ago i bought a pair of Vibrams and tried running and walking and practicing Parkour in them. Now, bear in mind, i don't partake in the kind of Parkour you may be familiar with. I keep my impacts to a minimum and focus on technique and precision rather than style.
    After training in them for a while, and after now problems that i could identify, i moved back to running shoes. I'm not entirely sure why, but i mostly think that a lifetime of living in shoes drew me back into the fold.
    I love being barefoot. It feels free and cool and refreshing, especially on soft surfaces.
    Now, recently i began going barefoot again, and i am not going to lie or abstain from being truthful, but it was due to the fact i have just finished reading Born to Run. A very good, inspirational book that seemed to have it's facts right. After reading this forum, i now know to take a better look.
    So far, all my barefoot running in Vibrams had turned up is some hefty blisters (Something that never occurs where going completely barefoot) and muscle fatigue in my calves (something i thought i would never feel due to the fact that the majority of my Parkour requires jumping and landing with use of the calves).
    In one way, i agree with the majority of posters because i think Vibrams are not the best thing for feet, they blister and rub and scrunch your toes up; sandals would probably be better.
    However, i think that barefoot running holds a place in a rigorous training regime, mostly as a tool for balance and awareness in the feet, somewhere that seems neglected as often it's all booted up. I don't like all the cult mentality, that it strengthens connections with our past. That smacks of less science and more fervent blind belief.
    But as Podiatrists (and don't bash me for this), i think it is your duty to provide unbiased veiws on what is right or wrong for feet. Saying that barefooting and vibrams are just plain wrong is being as closed-minded as those people you don't like. It isn't fair on those that rely on your views for guidance. And just as both sides provide benefits, both sides provide setbacks.
    Just my two cents.

  8. CamWhite

    CamWhite Active Member

    I personally don't have a problem with Vibram 5 Fingers shoes, as long as you stay confined to grass, sand, soft trails etc. If you break them in gradually, and concentrate on form, I can imagine the feeling would be enjoyable.

    My problem is with Vibram Five Fingers on concrete, asphalt and pavement. Our feet need to be protected against the unforgiving, repetitive stress of running on surfaces with little terrain variation and absolutely no forgiveness.

    It's not about the shoe, it's more about the surfaces you choose to run on. Pick the right tool for the right job.
  9. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Welcome ParkourTio/Matthew,

    You may well find this thread even more interesting... Barefoot Running Debate. It is very long... but worth at the very least skimming through.

    Thanks for being up front. ‘Born to Run’ may be an interesting & inspiring read but I wouldn’t rely on those so called “facts”... there is misrepresentation, deception & pseudo science behind the claimed “facts” detailed in the book... mixed with emotion & exaggeration.

    Agreed, I don’t think anyone here would disagree with this balanced & sensible statement.

    Interesting point... if I understand the context of your above statement correctly. This is in part what I have had issue with (as well as associated research) i.e. started with this post (link).

    Agreed... to some degree. However, please don't lump us all in the same boat based on a view of another... or that of the biased perceptions of cardinal espousers of a movement. I made the following statement on the above cited thread – Barefoot Running Debate...

    What hasn't been discussed or mentioned as yet (relating to this particular topic of the barefoot issue – stress fractures) is the amazing ability for the bones to not only rebuild itself but also redesign itself as the lines of stress change.

    Throughout one’s lifetime, people change in the way their body weight is distributed (looked in the mirror lately?). For instance, they may, because of arthritis or some disability, change the way they walk & the exact way in which they put weight on the limb (i.e. or changing running style/foot strike patterns).
    Programmed in the DNA instructions that are in every cell of our bodies is the marvellous capacity for our bones to continually remodel themselves so that their internal engineering is always lined up so as to exactly cope, in the most efficient possible way, with the precise forces acting upon them... thus becoming stronger in a particular region in the future. If this adaptive process isn’t allowed to take place, then a stress fracture could result.

    All the best.
  10. I started a thread on this topic a while ago -Wolfs law our inbuilt force plate which did not get so far , but there is some intersting papers in the thread that may interest you Matthew ( Ben Hur)
  11. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Yes, thank you Michael. They do look interesting. I have only had a chance to skim through them. I noticed Professor Lieberman (now known in the barefoot movement) has been cited in the "In Vivo Bone Strain and Bone Functional Adaptation.pdf" paper... I sometimes wonder how researchers who are aware of the apparent engineering, & even changing engineering (remodelling) characteristics of just bone in this case can hold on to a certain ultimate causative viewpoint. The more I delve into the realms of anatomy/physiology/biomechanics of humans the more remarkable it appears to be.
  12. They are interesting and Get me thinking everytime I have a read. I´m thinking along the lines or reverse engineering, Ie using the bone shape to give us the average angle, size of force vector etc for that person to work out what type of device required but I get snowed under with the maths.

    It´s funny the more you look, the less you understand, the more interest you have, the more you look. The human body is amazing. Thaqt the way I see it.
  13. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member

  14. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    I have been a customer and fan of big running shoe companies since I started running daily almost 40 yrs ago. I am truly grateful for all of the development that has gone into running shoe technology for the past 40 yrs. I happen to be partial to Nike because their shoes fit me the best, they feel the best and they have proven to be the most durable.

    Currently I have 10 pairs of running shoes that I rotate daily through my running routine. My traditional running shoes range from an 8 oz pair of marathon racing shoes to 13 oz Nike Air Max 2009 which essentially has a visible air mattress for the full mid sole. I recently added a 10th pair of shoes to the mix, a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, VFF.

    I have never had a running injury in spite of almost 40 yrs of high mileage which has led me to be a traditional running shoe bigot. With all of the commotion about VFF, I wanted to see first hand what these shoes where about. I don't give a crap what Chris McDougall or any of the barefoot running advocates think about these shoes, I wanted first hand experience before formulating an opinion. I have been really surprised by all of the opinions and comments on this forum about a simple pair of shoes coming from so many people that haven't even bothered to try them on.

    By rotating all of my shoes which all have differing characteristics regarding weight, level of cushion vs firmness, stiffness vs flexibility, ride height, heel lift, level of upper support, etc., I essentially have a different running experience every day. As far as the Vibrams go, we are talking about an entirely different experience than what all of my other pairs of running shoes provide and different from any pair of running shoes I ever owned. The sensation you get from wearing the Vibrams is simply unmatched by traditional running shoes.

    It is a sensation that must be experienced to be understood.

    Having experience with Vibrams, when I see comments about them from people who haven't worn them, I know those comments are uninformed at best.

    I will always use traditional running shoes as my primary shoe but I am thrilled that Vibrams are out in the market. They offer a truly different experience to my running regimen that I otherwise wouldn't have. After 40 yrs of running, I don't care about true or false claims about the benefit of a given running shoe, all I need to do is take them out for a test run to know if they work or not. I am most interested with the experience I get while running in a given pair of shoes, nothing more, nothing less.

    Posting snippets about people who have been injured wearing vibrams is like posting snippets about people being injured in car crashes. The difference being that you actually need to take a test before driving while any idiot can wear Vibrams.

    I could care less about the negativity in these threads are towards Chris McDougall and other vocal barefoot running advocates. What I find unfortunate is that it appears to be spilling over into products these people happen to support.

    Vibram FiveFingers did start out as "water" shoes but people started finding other uses for them like rockclimbing, yoga, martial arts AND running. Like every running shoe on the market, they aren't intended for everyone, they aren't intended for every type of run or intended to be used every day. Common sense and an understanding of your own body need to be the guide. If I bought a pair of thin cotton gloves and tried to climb Everest wearing them, would it be the fault of the gloves if I got frostbite?

    A big benefit of Vibram being out there is that the sales of their shoes are growing so fast that they must be getting the attention of the big shoe companies. It is my hope that it will motivate the big shoe companies to invest in the area of ultra light shoes and that we might see some great products come out in the future.

    I would suggest that if the readers of this forum feel it is important to make recommendations about the use of a given product, that they find it important enough to try the product first hand so they can make an informed recommendation based on experience rather than speculation.
  15. Dana:

    OK, Dana....we have now heard your running story twice now....we don't need to hear it again.

    For your information, ultra-light running shoes have been available for runners now for over 35 years.....we have called them racing flats in the past. In addition, having a toe cleft in a shoe was being done over 40 years ago by Onitsuka Tiger (now Asics). So why call them "minimalist shoes" when they are nothing new??? The only thing that is new is all the hype that the barefoot running zealots and popular media are generating about them.

    In addition, how many patients do you treat per week? Probably zero. Now, imagine you have a medical degree and you are actually liable for recommendations you make to a runner about their running shoes. Would you recommend a running shoe that might cause them a metatarsal stress fracture? I hope not.

    You can go ahead and recommend Vibram FiveFingers to all your running buddies and no one will be able to hold you liable for your recommendations since they know you are just another runner that thinks they have great knowledge about the biomechanics of the foot and lower extremity because they have read a lot of running magazines, talked to a bunch of shoe salesmen and run a lot themselves. However, this forum is different. We are medical professionals who have spent a good part of their lives studying the biomechanics of the foot and lower extremity and we are all held to a much higher level of accountability than the average runner will ever be held to.

    The bottom line is that you are assuming way too much with your comments about this heterogenous of medical professionals that subscribe to this podiatric academic website, suggesting to us what we should and shouldn't be doing with our patients and our recommendations to our patients. Unless you have some sort of knowledge that isn't past the level of the average running shoe salesman who gets all their running shoe knowledge from running magazines, running shoe reps and their own personal running experience, then your comments are, at best, interesting, and at worst, insulting.

    Have a nice day.:drinks
  16. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    That is not what this thread is about!

    The Evangalists from the Church of Barefoot Running have this doctrine that running shoes are bad and there are less injuires in those who run barefoot (or wear Vibrams). (and in the other thread on barefoot running we have repeatedly asked the one post barefoot runners to back it up with some evidence and they never return with any)

    It is clear that there is an apparent "epidemic" of stress fractures in those who use Vibrams. This is being dismissed by the Church as due to "training errors". Despite that dismissal they still maintain running shoes cause injury, and will not accept that its could not be due to training errors in those runners as well and not due to the shoes.

    I am risking litigation if I start recommending Vibrams.
  17. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    It is interesting Craig and Kevin. I am now aware of at least 3 technical running stores in the USA that require their customers to sign an informed consent form before they will let that customer leave the store with their new VFF tucked under their arm. Kinda makes you wonder doesn't it?
    Only a matter of time before we see the same thing with Sketchers Shape Ups now that a massive class action has been lodged against them for making claims they cannot sustain...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2010
  18. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    ...I assume that they don't require a similar informed consent for a traditional running shoe ... yes it does make you wonder but it certainly speaks volumes. The Church won't like this!
  19. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    Consent limited only to the VFF... I understand there is not consent required if the customer promises to use them strictly for the purpose for which they were designed.. a nice spot of boating. Its's the old story, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, just as you can't make a running shoe out of a yachting shoe..!
  20. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Kevin, sorry for repeating my running story, I guess that makes us both guilty of that. I did not coin the term minimalist shoe. I have owned and worn Onitsuka Tiger racing flats in 1972, 1973 and 1974. I have owned racing flats by one manufacturer or another from that point in time up until the present in which I now own Nike racing flats. In spite of owning racing flats for 40 yrs, I took the extra step to go out and try VFF so that I can speak from experience. I am finding that the people from this forum have a lot to say about VFF, yet they have no clue what it is like to walk or run in them. Your assumption that running in VFF is like running in a racing flat is wrong. I know, I wear both.

    Kevin, I am just suggesting that you see for yourself. You may find that there are differences between VFF and traditional racing flats. I refuse to explain those differences because it is apparent to me that I would be wasting my time. I also would rather see those who are close minded enough to refuse to try them to remain in ignorance. It just amazes me that if you spend your life studying biomechanics and are an avid runner why you aren't at least interested in seeing what they are like first hand.

    This forum is really concerned that the barefooters substantiate their claims yet I struggling with your approach regarding VFF. Does posting a series of anecdotes about a product prove anything? Are your claims about VFF any more substantiated that the barefoot advocates claims about them? Frankly, I don't care what you or the barefoot advocates have to say about VFF, I have my own opinion based on my knowledge of the shoes and my own body. Since I have 40 yrs of injury free running, I must be doing something right. I don't believe that there are many people out there that can claim the same success.

    I found this forum and these threads because I am interested in running related topics. What I've learned from this forum is something I did not expect. That was a general sense of close mindedness. As far as making recommendations, I know one recommendation I would make to a running buddy with a foot problem, beware before going into a podiatrists office, you might get some pretty close minded opinions.
  21. Dana:

    I have run in the Vibram FiveFinger and I found the shoes uncomfortable for me. So much for my anecdotal experience with these shoes.

    I think you will find that if you start posting on any website which is devoted toward the academic growth of any medical specialty, started providing your anecdotal comments on a new product that you are infatuated with, and you, as a layperson who has no medical training, start telling those medical specialists that they should be more open-minded to new ideas on products that they have already seen and tested themselves, that you will likely also come away with the opinion that those medical specialists are close-minded.

    I am impressed, however, that you have been able to run so many years with no injuries. I have always thought that the runners who never got injured were never pushing themselves hard enough.

    My practice is full of runners who will drive sometimes 100 miles or farther to pay me to try to help them continue running. I suppose that they think that I know something that they don't know. Obviously this isn't the case for you.

    Happy running.:drinks
  22. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Kevin, Yet again, you speak with no clue about what you are talking about. I went 10 yrs running 100 mile trail runs never being forced to drop out. Given the runs I was entering had a completion rate of less than 50% and I always finished neat the front, I beat great odds to accomplish that. Put another way, I am an extreme exception. To prepare for these things my weekly long runs where 36 to 50 miles long. I would do these long runs for 26 weeks in a row. In order to not take away from my family, I was getting up at 1 AM to complete the run before work. During this time frame, I was running as much as 600 miles/month for months on end. During my "off" months, I would continue to run 100 miles/week to keep my conditioning up.

    For the past 5 yrs I am still averaging 80 miles per and doing it for simply for the joy of running.

    Given your profession and the fact that you have failed at preventing your own injuries I find it curious that you refuse to take the opportunity to understand and learn how I was able to accomplish this. Instead you deduce that I wasn't pushing myself. You have only convinced me of your inability or lack of desire to learn.

    I am not that naive to believe that you have ever tried on a pair of VFF. I am not infatuated with those shoes. I only use them for a very small percentage of my running. Overusing any given pair of shoes could put you at risk of injury. I only jumped in on the discussion about them because I was bothered by the ignorant and uninformed comments made about them on this forum and felt it important to point it out. It really had little to do with the shoes and all to do with the gross display of ignorance.

    Good luck with your profession. I have learned one important lesson here. If I ever need help with my feet, I will go to an orthopedic doctor.
  23. Good luck with that. I've been working alongside orthopedic surgeons for the last 25 years in group podiatric-orthopedic surgeon practices and orthopedic surgeons hate seeing runners....they say they think they know everything.:rolleyes:
  24. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    I fully understand why a podiatrist would discourage a client from wearing 6 oz running shoes. If the client is complaining of pain or injury, I would agree that the recommendation would be appropriate before there is even a diagnosis, it doesn't matter. Whether the injury is due to anatomical or bio mechanical issues, over training, blunt or sharp force trama, whatever, injury is injury and 6 oz running shoes are not appropriate, I get it.

    I see running shoes as tools for the runner. Like a good trades person, they will have the right tool for the job. A carpenter will have more than one hammer, they will have a whole range of them from a 7 lb sledge hammer down to an 8 oz finish hammer. The carpenter will not use the sledge hammer for a job that requires a finish hammer if he expects good results. In running shoes, I see 14 oz fully cushioned or motion control shoes as the sledge hammers with the 6 oz shoe as the finish hammer. A skilled runner will not expect the same results from those shoes and it is up to him to select the right shoe for the job. To tell a skilled carpenter to throw away his finish hammer and to use a sledge hammer on the final touches of his cabinets would be no different than telling a skilled runner to use heavy, protective shoes when he is racing or working on strengthening his feet. The results in either case would be poor.

    There is a place for the 6 oz running shoe. Certainly not on an injured runner, not on a runner who doesn't know how to keep from over training, not on a runner with anatomical or bio mechanical issues. There are runners who are skilled, who are not prone to injury, who have a lot of experience and know and understand when it is appropriate to most effectively use and derive the benefits of wearing a 6 oz shoe. Recommending against a 6 oz shoe for them just doesn't make sense. Of course for the runner who knows when it is appropriate to wear this type of shoe, it is unlikely they will be looking for advice about whether to wear them so the whole argument is mute.

    When wearing very light shoes, in addition to basic physics telling me I can run faster, I have experienced what feels exactly like training effect on the muscles in my feet. Anyone familiar with exercise has probably experienced that after a muscle is exercised, it is common for it to feel good. The feeling comes from a combination of increased blood flow, stretching and increased flexibility. After wearing 6 oz shoes on a run, I experience that same feeling. That the muscles in my feet have been stretched and exercised. That they are in the process of strengthening and improving flexibility.

    I would imagine that a study has been done regarding the effect of wearing highly supportive shoes and muscle atrophy of the foot. The readers of this forum can probably recite several of them off the top of their head. Common sense and experience tells me that if you limit the range of motion and use of a muscle it will weaken. Under that same premise, I would have to assume that placing a greater demand on the muscles of your feet through the use of shoes that provide not much more than protection from sharp objects will encourage the training effect to take place on those muscles and the runner will experience a positive and beneficial effect on their feet. I suppose you could do specific exercises to strengthen your feet but it seems a lot easier and effective to simply wear very light shoes from time to time.

  25. Griff

    Griff Moderator

  26. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Ian's response to my comment: I would imagine that a study has been done regarding the effect of wearing highly supportive shoes and muscle atrophy of the foot.

    I guess that leaves us to speculate about what might result from partial immobilization of the muscles of the foot, maybe use past experience or common sense to come up with a hypothesis.
  27. Griff

    Griff Moderator


    Of course lets not forget there has been a study which showed orthoses increased muscle strength. How does this fit in with your thoughts?

    You may find this an interesting read: http://www.runningbarefootisbad.com/running-shoes-weaken-muscles/172/

  28. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ian, this is really helpful. The net of the article is that: Conclusion: We actually have no idea if running shoes lead to weaker muscles or not.

    Now I know that when I wear 6 oz running shoes, I am doing it simply because I enjoy the experience and that my feet, legs and back feel great after doing so. The feedback from my own body is really enough information for me.

    As far as orthoses go, I am not suffering from any problems at least that I'm aware of so I don't wear them. If they actually strengthen your feet that is a great benefit for those who need them. I'm just glad I don't need to deal with the extra weight.

    In his Runners World interview, Kevin Kirby states: So barefoot running is certainly more economical. The question is: What can the runner tolerate? Are you willing to take the risk of going barefoot? How about racing flats that weigh six ounces each? That might be a reasonable middle ground for some.

    I for one am not willing to take the risk of going barefoot. I have been wearing 6 oz racing flats for 38 yrs and will continue wearing them into the future. I never thought of it as middle ground because I never considered running barefoot as a realistic option. Rather, I was simply taking advantage of available products that I felt helped me run better and feel better.

    In addition to wearing 6 oz racing flats, I now own two pairs of VFF which also weigh 6 oz. I bought the first pair because of all of the emotion displayed for and against them. I could not sit back without checking them out first hand to see what all of the emotion was about. After wearing the first pair for a month, I enjoyed the experience so much, I went out and bought a second pair in a different model. I guess all that really matters is how I feel about running in them. I'm not asking anyone to wear or not wear them and I'm not worried about liability for what I think or recommend.
  29. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Ian, I went back to your reference that cites the study showing orthoses increased muscle strength. I followed a further link to read the abstract. The study cited was conducted by Mayer et al, was to look at the effects of short term treatment strategies in Achilles Tendinopathy. The study compared physiotherapy to wearing custom fit semi rigid insoles. Subjective pain and strength performance capacity was measured. The results found that pain was reduced in both the physiotherapy group and the insole group. Meanwhile, higher eccentric plantar flexion peak torques where observed in both groups.

    The glaring question I have that is not answered because eccentric plantar flexion peak torques where not measured before the indication of pain is that whether the observed increased eccentric plantar flexion peak torques where the result of the reduction in pain or a true increase in strength. The study simply does not demonstrate that.

    Based on the facts presented in the study I can not and would not draw the conclusion that strength was increased by using orthoses. For that matter, massage, ultrasound and ice had the same results.

    I've certainly learned from this forum that when a study is referenced to support an argument, you are best served by going and finding out who wrote and funded the study to see if there is potential for bias and to look at the actual findings. Study's that are remotely related are often referenced as an attempt to add credibility to an argument but that doesn't mean they actually support the argument.

    I would extend the conclusion from the website that referenced the article to not only say "Conclusion: We actually have no idea if running shoes lead to weaker muscles or not." but to include we also actually have no idea if orthoses leads to increased or decreased muscle strength as well.
  30. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Thank you for regurgitating the abstract Dana, not really necessary though as I have read the full paper. Have you? Or are you critiquing it from its Abstract? Would you like a copy? Perhaps then you can read about the control group...

    The reason I directed you to that reference was as follows:
    (1) You suggested that supportive shoes weakened/atrophied foot musculature
    (2) There are no previous studies investigating this
    (3) Orthoses could be said to act in a similar fashion to supportive shoes
    (4) The study cited shows orthoses do not weaken/atrophy foot musculature

  31. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Ian, you're welcome, I outlined a few points of the study so that others might have a clue as to what I was talking about without doing their own research.

    1) I wrote: I would imagine that a study has been done regarding the effect of wearing highly supportive shoes and muscle atrophy of the foot. The readers of this forum can probably recite several of them off the top of their head. Common sense and experience tells me that if you limit the range of motion and use of a muscle it will weaken.

    I was simply asking if a study had been done. While asking, it made me think about what happens to your foot and leg after it has spent months immoblized in a cast. You don't need a study to figure that one out. Or what happens to the human body when bed ridden or in space for extend periods. Muscles do atrophy and physical therapy 101 will tell you that imobilization is a good way to accomplish it. Sorry I don't have a study, only common sense.

    2) Thanks for filling me in, no studies.

    3) You say "orthoses could be said to act in a similar fashion to supportive shoes" Are you sure?

    4) The study cited does not show anything or say anything to the effect that orthoses do not weaken/atrophy foot musculature. That is purely the inference made by the nameless author of the website you pointed me to.

    Ian, I am sorry in advance for repeating myself. I don't know if the readers of this forum have reading difficulty, a short memory, only see what they want to see or what the problem is but nothing seems to stick. I have run a distance equivalent to more than 3 laps around the world without a single injury and I did so with the benefit of wearing well cushioned and supportive shoes! I am as big of an advocate of wearing shoes as anyone on this forum. My point of view does not come from helping people who have developed problems with their feet but from using my feet to cover more ground than the vast majority of the people in this world and doing so with the help of shoes.

    I fully agree with the concern on this forum that the barefoot advocates are making unsubstantiated claims. What I see though is that there are a lot of people on this forum that are so bent on refuting those claims that they are also making unsupported claims. Look at points 3 and 4 that you made for example, are those points really substantiated? Do I care if orthoses act similar to supportive shoes or that they do not weaken your foot? Not at all, I don't use them or sell them. I'm just struggling to see how those claims are any better than the ones that state that running shoes cause injury.

    You really don't need to waste your time responding, we would both be fools to continue a pointless debate about nothing. I have seen several people chased off of this forum because every idea they've expressed has been chastised. The trend happens over and over, it is obvious they don't belong to the podiatry club so their ideas don't count. I'm sure they leave because they soon recognize they are wasting their time on pointless arguments. People on this forum have written that barefooters behave like they belong to a religious cult. My impression is that many of the writers on this forum act like they belong to a religious cult. They certainly aren't open to ideas other than their own. I recently read the charter of this forum. It talked about expressing, sharing and discussing ideas for the purpose of learning. The members here have completely lost site of that. The problem with continually rejecting outside ideas is that soon your own ideas become inbred and out of touch.

    I don't know why I care, I guess it just bothers me to see a warped or one sided point of view. I will leave the podiatrists to argue with the barefooters. Have fun.
  32. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    I guess this is the point Dana, do orthoses (or shoes) actually immobilise the foot and its musculature??

    I'll give you that - it was a tenuous link perhaps. But I was merely trying to illustrate a point.

    As I said, perhaps you should read the full paper before you comment on it? Offer still stands if you would like a copy.

    It really isn't a waste of my time Dana, like most I am here because I want to be and because I learn a great deal from reading and participating in posts. I honestly can't work you or your agenda out though. On the one hand you seem quite rational, but you seem to get quite defensive a bit too easily. That last paragraph was utter garbage mate. We are discussing ideas for the purpose of learning are we not? You are allowed to disagree along the way my friend. Yes we know you have run round the world. Well done. You are not the only person on the planet (or even this arena) to have achieved sporting success/athletic prowress.

    So you get the impression we are like a religious cult? With respect, if you had been around on the Arena for longer than a few weeks you would see that you are unlikely to meet a more open minded bunch of individuals. I don't know many professions who constantly critique their own daily practice as much as Podiatrists do.

    We have too often seen people come on here and get defensive, then build a straw man argument, and then comment they are being 'bullied' and say their goodbyes instead of actually hanging around and discussing the issues. (Sound familiar?) No-one is chased off.
  33. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Ian, yes I would like a copy of the article, can you post a link? The site that contained the full article charges for it. As much as I'd like to read it, I don't want to pay for it just to see for myself whether the abstract is inconsistent with the full study or not.

    Sorry if I gotten defensive, I guess I was caught off guard by childish attacks and sarcasm made about me personally by a group of professionals. Read your last post, you try to belittle me for bringing up my running background, you are not the first. I don't know how else to fill you in that I have a lot of experience and do have something to say about protecting your feet based on that experience. I know others have athletic experience but I want to speak for myself. Experience other than podiatry certification seems to have little to no value on this forum. I didn't just pick up Born to Run and overnight decide to be a runner. How do I let people know that without telling them. This forum has a history of jumping to bad assumptions and I didn't want that to happen regarding my background. I don't know how else to let you know that I've been around the block a few times. When another member writes that he's run a 2:28 marathon 30 yrs ago for the 20th time, no one blinks, why is that?

    I have only posted on the Arena in the last few weeks but I have read just about every post on this forum for the last 2 yrs. and every post for that last five years that has to do with running and running shoes. It was only recently that I could no longer tolerate the hot air coming out of both ends of several of the posters on this forum. You may think the podiatry club as being open minded but it is amongst yourselves at most and it stops there. Yet again I sense a condescending tone regarding how long I've been around. That's OK, I know you can't help it. No need for me to get defensive. In the future, if someone is blowing smoke, I'll just point it out and be done with it.

    Sorry, I will be sticking around, you have all provided me with plenty of entertainment. I just need to remind myself of that, sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.
  34. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member


    Well Diana, I have watched, as usual, the debate from a somewhat removed position.
    I guess I am the least credible person to comment on the barefoot argument, or especially VFF, because I am not only a podiatrist, but I also work as a consultant for the ASICS Corporation globally as their research consultant, and now primarily am involved in the world of research biomechanics.
    That said, I have enjoyed your postings, and I am sorry if you feel personally attacked. That should never be the case on this forum, which I think represents a place where balanced debate.. from any perspective, can be conducted without fear of ridicule or attack.
    I hope you can re-think you impression that podiatirists have nothing to offer.. at best we are real experts in the area of foot and lower limb health.. at the worst a bunch of feisty, and at times defensive buggers. If nothing else, we are passionate, and that generally is a good thing. What we all hate is the notion that everyone should be doing the same thing.. ie, barefoot running, pose or chi, VFF, ASICS, Nike, Budhism, vegan.. balh blah. Everyone has a choice, and everyone should experiment and folow the choices they wish to make, but in the words of the very wise George Sheehan, " we are all an experiment with a sample number of1". On this basis, it is not a great idea to insist that every runner, or every human for that matter, follow one path.
    I like the passion you bring to the forum, and I always acknoledge the wisdom that come with on-road experience, and I hope you will feel comfortable to continue to contribute.


  35. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    The study in nature by Leibermann et al was done by someone who is a barefoot runner and funded by Vibram. Should it be dismissed on that basis? The Barefoot Running Church are quick to dismiss research funded by running shoe companies, but why are they accepting this study? ... don't figure
    Which is exactly the complaint we keep making about the misuse, misunderstanding, mininterpretation and misquoting of research by the Evangelists from the Chruch of Barefoot Running.
    Which is exactly the case, so why do the Evangelists from the Chruch of Barefoot Running make such dogmatic statements that they do?
  36. Griff

    Griff Moderator


    Attached Files:

  37. Dana:

    Glad to hear you will be sticking around since this forum tends to hear from only a small number of the people that actually visit the site. You seem fairly knowledgeable, Dana, and I assume you are not a health professional? What type of work do you do/what is your profession?

    Glad to see that you have read the posts from this list over the past few years. You have a better feel for the group than I originally thought.

    One question for you.....you seem to have remarkable durability, never being injured in 40 years of running. What do you attribute this rather remarkable accomplishment to?
  38. Griff

    Griff Moderator

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