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World's Oldest Running Shoes?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, Feb 21, 2011.

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    While working on a lecture on barefoot vs. shod running this morning, I found an interesting article on some leather mocassins found in an Armenian cave dating back from 5,500 years ago. Were these the earliest running shoes?


    In addition, research on digital phalangeal structure indicates that possibly our ancestors were wearing shoes as early as 40,000 years ago.


    My guess, it was much earlier than that. Cameron Kippen was even quoted in one of the articles. Good job Cameron!

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  2. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    That "running shoe" bears a remarkable resemblance to a pasty I had for lunch yesterday. In fairness, I think that "running" shoe would probably have been more tasty and appetising than my pasty.

    For those of you who are wondering what a pastie is, see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasty

    Attached Files:

  3. Bill Bird

    Bill Bird Active Member

    Hi Kevin
    I read the Plos article when it came out and was fascinated. I lecture in footwear design at DeMontfort University, Leicester in England and had all 33 second year students make themselves one shoe each as a starter to the year.
    The process was an interesting exercise because simple as the shoe is, you have to understand basic foot anatomy in order to get it right. Here are some points we looked at.
    The seam has to rund down the second ray.Why? Finn Bojsin-Moller, 1977 on high and low gear push off.
    The top of the laces as to stop before the foot dorsiflexing would cause irritation of the top against the shin.
    The lateral top line has to be cut lower and further back than the medial.Why? The obliquity of the ankle joint as discovered by John Dane 1897. The lateral malleolus is lower and further back than the medial. Ignore that and the shoe hurts. I asked them how many had bought a shoe where the top line cut under their lateral malleolus. An astounding 20 had and they we only 21 years old.
    Next point is how high can you make the top line of the back. Look how the Achilli's tendon bends outward, away from the calcaneus when the foot is plantarflexed.
    They all loved their shoes and had a few foot anatomy lessons and some history of the development of foot anatomy thrown in.
    By the way. Its tough on a foot to try and shape 2.2mm leather from the flat into a foot shape. I think they wet the leather and then stuffed it with grass to dry before wearing it. We used newspaper to do that in the University.
    Bill Bird

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