Talk:Barefoot running

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Does this classify as woo? Junggai (talk) 14:22, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

I'd say so for the most part yes, but there may be something to it. I saw a doccumentary on TV about the Tarahumara people of Mexico who can run for hundreds of miles without shoes and are just fine. They did some bio-mechanical study and found that the Tarahumara were running differently than those of us who wore shoes. I think they were relying more on putting all of their weight on the ball of their foot/toes, whereas shoe runners ran evenly distributed, with the knees taking a bit more of a pounding than the Tarahumara's. I got the sense that these people had been doing this their whole lives and that if somebody used to wearing shoes attempted to do this it could result in serious injury. Also, pavement, asphalt, and sidewalk, tend to be a lot harder than the surface Mexican desert, running barefoot on artificial stuff could be a good way to get a variety of injuries. Keep in mind that many people wear improperly fitted athletic shoes, and could also benefit from the insertion of a pair of orthotics. Jsonitsac (talk) 03:11, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I often dream that I run long distances, barefoot, of course. But dreams are not evidence. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:30, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
New Scientist seems to take it seriously and according to them so does nature. We should consider before dismissing it as woo.--BobSpring is sprung! 05:58, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
To me it mostly depends on the running surface. Roads, hardpacked tracks, etc., will muck up your knees and feet if you don't use high-tech trainers. Running in the woods, on fields, etc, however, is a different bag of eels. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:47, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
PS, this is like running like horsies - on their tippy toes. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:48, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
In school we were shown a cross section of an Indian man's foot. He'd walked barefoot all his life, and the skin on his soles was like shoe leather. Basically your skin adapts to rough environments to make barefoot walking bearable. In the west the main danger would be from dog's eggs and suchlike. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:36, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I go barefoot almost all the time. Just like I did in the summers of my childhood. Not sure about "shoe leather", but, yeah, my soles are certainly tough, just as my guitar-playing calluses were. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:04, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Ouch!
The Tarahumara kick a hard wooden ball while they are running. I keep one on my desk. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 22:18, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
You have a Mexican on your desk? Totnesmartin (talk) 22:27, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

"High tech" shoes have about as much evidence supporting them[edit]

Granted that the evidence supporting barefoot running is pretty threadbare, but so is the evidence supporting so-called "high tech" running shoes. Shoe stores and shoe companies like to give the appearance that they are doing something to decrease your chance of injury, but there is very little evidence that they help either. Until there's more study behind this I would hesitate to call barefoot running 'woo'. In my experience, it is far more important to avoid overtraining and focus on form than it is to spend $100 on some eXtreme science shoes. One thing I can say is that the whole "it will magically cause you to run properly" is bunk. If you normally run in trainers then go out and run 3 miles barefoot you will be in pain, especially if you heel strike.— Unsigned, by: 72.89.248.112 / talk / contribs

Sounds very likely to be true. But it really should be its own article.--BobSpring is sprung! 22:08, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

running on hard surfaces[edit]

We say:

  • While humans did evolve to run barefoot they did not evolve to run on concrete, asphalt, or other artificial surfaces. Hence, the only way this would make any sense is if one was running on "natural" surfaces. So keep off the pavement.

However the journal Nature says:

  • "Kinematic and kinetic analyses show that even on hard surfaces, barefoot runners who fore-foot strike generate smaller collision forces than shod rear-foot strikers."

I rather think that we would want to take Nature's word for it.

Of course, whether you could learn to do this might be a different question.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 21:11, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

It can be learned by doing. It is possible to change gait trough practice and paying attention to how you step. --Zixinus (talk) 13:10, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Central claims of barefoot advocates and advice[edit]

I am unsure in how to change the page. So instead I'm going to present the arguments about this topic I have gathered so far.
I have been looking into this topic for quite some time and even started reading literature about this. So far there seems to be two central benefits on running barefoot, both seem realistic:

1. Running barefoot forces you to use good form. The idea is that when you run barefoot, all the faults of your gait and walking style are revealed. If you hit the ground too hard, you will feel it without cushioned shoes. If you walk too much on your toes you will feel it. And because it is unpleasant or even hurts, you are forced to pay attention and adjust your form. Shoes are meant to make walking more comfortable and they do a too good of a job because it cuts off the sensory feedback you get from your foot.
This is where the claim of "it is safer to run barefoot" comes from. It isn't because it is natural and then it will automatically fix everything, but because this bodily feedback system makes adjust your gait.

2. Running barefoot gives you sensation of the ground below you. This is about feeling the terrain and the ground below you. You are getting sensory feedback about the environment that you wouldn't get while using shoes. This may appeal to people who wish to "connect with nature".

It is point number 1 that barefoot advocates claim center around the most. Every bit of literature I have found so far emphasizes this. If an argument against needs to be found it should be investigating this claim.

There are some misconceptions about barefoot running and how to start. Now here are some important points of advice I have gathered so far (I may add to this later as I get further into the literature):

  • It is highly recommended to run entirely barefoot first rather than graduate from minimalist footwear to barefoot. Even minimalist shoes dampen sensation too much. Minimalist shoes should only be used after you have learned good form. This is why Vibram has lost a class-action lawsuit, because they assumed that if they make a barefoot-friendly shoe its wearers will automatically get the benefits of barefoot running. While it is one of the best minimalist shoes, it did not work out that way. One study even found that transitioning from regular running shoes to Fivefingers caused stress fractures on the foot.
  • Do not start in beaches and grass as you will not see rocks, shells and other hazards on the ground. The soft earth will also limit your shock-feedback, meaning you will not feel how hard you hit the ground. Treadmills are not recommended for the same reason.
Beginners should start on clear, even and hard ground. Pavement, concrete, gymnasium floors, packed-dirt roads, runner tracks are all fine as long as they meet the above criteria. Just pay attention to how your feet lands on the ground and try to avoid big, strong hits. 
  • Some give the advice to get training and advice from Pose Running, Chi running or clinical gait analysis.
  • It is strongly recommended to do excercises for the foot, entire leg, hips and core.
  • Literally learn to walk before you run. Practice barefoot walking (even at home, walking in-place) before you try to do barefoot running.

A minor misconception: natural barefoot runners do not run exclusively on their forefoot. On lower speeds, they can also run on the rearfoot (likely factor is terrain, perhaps culture). Source

Sources:
Ken Bob's FQA, Ken Bob also hosts a barefoot forum An article from a barefoot book author about the dangers of minimalist shoes
The Barefoot Running Book The Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running (I'm up to the second chapter, but what I have read so far is above) ISBN: 0452298458
The study about the test between regular shoe runners and those changing to Vibram Fivefingers
--Zixinus (talk) 13:11, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

why is barefoot running in new age section?[edit]

it's senseless and Irrational.