Barefoot running has been one of the greatest subjects of conversation among athletes ever since Chris McDougall’s book Born to Run introduced the subject to The spot light.
McDougall authored A theory produced by Harvard researchers that running barefoot naturally decreases your impact on the earth — by compelling you to land on your mid-foot or fore-foot rather than on your heel. This leads to a far fewer injuries and better running style. In reality, they put the blame for many injuries directly at the feet of cushioned running shoes — the shoes most folks have been running in for the last 30 years.
You’d envision such an idea would have the running shoe companies issuing legal writs in a crazy stress, but rather they realized that a lot of people were not really planning to run barefoot.
For a start, many individuals are clearly sceptical about the advantages of eliminating all of the padding and support from under your feet and then setting off on a long run.
Even among the convinced or curious, running barefoot was always likely to become a bridge too far for most. Barefoot Kenyan runners were studyed by the Harvard scientists within their study. However in the west our feet are too soft, too used to shoes, for us to abruptly begin hareing around barefoot. Furthermore, we live in a planet coated in concrete, with the danger of broken glass, nails and other razor-sharp objects everywhere. So, rather than panicking, sports companies produced the oxymoronic notion of barefoot shoes.
Barefoot shoes, or minimal shoes as they are also known, were around before Born to Run was released, but they had a niche appeal. Nowadays, nonetheless, a substantial percentage of athletic shoes on the market are barefoot shoes.
The idea behind them would be to let your foot to land on the ground in the same motion as if you’re running barefoot, but at the same time to offer some protection. They are available in a variety of guises, from those developed to allow you to transition gradually from heel-first running to barefoot-style running, to the ones that merely give a slim slither of rubber under your sole, leaving your feet as free as possible.