The manufacturers of the Vibram FiveFingers were recently sued for falsely advertising that their shoes would reduce injury and strengthen feet, Vibram did settle the case in order to save legal fees; but continue to stand behind their shoe. Is barefoot running and minimalist shoes just another fad? We think it is a good idea to take a look and see what the experts have to say about the practice of running barefoot.
The first actual pair of running shoes did not hit the market until 1970. Before then, people ran in flats, thin sandals, moccasins or barefoot. Research shows that when a person runs this way, their forefoot or midfoot strikes the ground first. This reduces the impact of your foot on the ground. Researchers are blaming more injuries on the new cushioned running shoes that have become so popular in the last 30 years.
Did you know that kangaroos are physically unable to walk because of their physical structure? Their feet are simply not made for walking or running as we or other animals would be capable of doing. However, what kangaroos can do is hop, and when we say hop, they can hop almost 20 feet in a single leap. Once they get moving, they can usually keep going for almost 20 miles before they need to stop and rest.
What’s even more amazing is when you take into consideration the speed in which they cover that distance. Kangaroos can achieve speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
The hottest trend in running right now is barefoot running. The success of Born to Run by Christopher McDougall has created a huge interest in alternatives to modern running shoes. As a coach, a runner who enjoys running barefoot, and a running store employee I have mixed feelings about this latest trend.