Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More On Running Barefoot

The above photos show runners wearing Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) but still landing on their heels. Now the VFF's were made popular by Christopher McDougall (who was interviewed by Jeanette Wang in yesterday's Straits Times article in the previous post) in his book Born To Run.

Well, no point running in VFF's if you still land on your heels as that is what causes most running injuries. Most if not all of us have spent years wearing shoes that have caused our legs and feet to be supported by the presence of a heel so most runners now land on their heels.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against anyone wearing the VFF. Like I written before in a previous  post it's not the shoes you wear to run, its how you run more that is more important. That means if you master the technique, you can literally run in any shoes you want.

We had many calls and emails asking about running barefoot after yesterday's article even though Sports Solutions was not quoted in the article. I even had a student contact me on my views regarding running barefoot running for her research project.

I firmly believe that what is currently suggested by most health care professionals on the basis of pronation control and cushioning is flawed.

This is what I feel regarding choosing your running shoes. Most people can run in just about any shoe (if they run correctly) as long as they take things slowly and listen to their OWN body. Problems arise when they attempt to do too much too soon in a new pair of (minimalist) shoes.

As for running barefoot, don't go and try more than 2km or else everything may hurt since you are now loading your muscles and joints (that have been so used to shoes) much more. Gradually build up your distance and it should be fine.

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