Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Barefoot Vs Shoes

Runner's World recently came out with another article.  It was complete brilliance.  OK, maybe I am being sarcastic.  But all of these barefoot vs running shoes debates are kind of stupid.  In this one they test a bunch of different runners to see where they are most efficient.  They find that the people who run in shoes with no added weight are more efficient than those who run barefoot with no added weight.  It's a great discovery and all except I think they forget one thing... Every single person they tested probably is your average runner who run's in Asics Kayanos or Brooks Adrenalines, pretty typical trainers.  Now, if they performed the same study on a practiced barefoot runner or one who ran in Vibram Five Fingers or New Balance Minimus I think the results would show that each runner is most efficient in what they use most often.  I recently read "Natural Running" by Danny Abshire, the founder of Newton Running and he said that runners in traditional trainers have become efficient at running inefficiently.  I think that this is a poor study but I can't think of a better one myself.  However, I do have an idea; let every runner find what works best for them.  Every runner can't do the barefoot thing and I can't run in Nike Structures or Asics Kayanos.  I have found that somewhere in between is the best for me.  I do relatively high intensity and high volume on somewhat minimal shoes and it works great.  Somehow, every time I start talking about running it comes back to talking about how every runner is different. Anyway, Happy Runnings, experiment and find what works for you!

Article Here


Blu said...

Also have to think how long they did the study for. I am sure they only had a few days to do it the experiment and for something to be accurate it would take years of testing.

I Pull 400 Watts said...

What's your reason for wanting to try Vibrams?

I've done...3400 mile in Vibrams, a couple hundred barefoot, and a few thousand in minimalist shoes. For myself, I have realized it is either BF, or in minimalist shoes. I now believe Vibrams are in a zone somewhere between BF and shod that is a bit pointless.

What works best for me, is doing occasional runs barefoot to improve gait, muscle memory, strength, etc. These might just be a few miles ever week. From my experience, you will be able to run faster, farther, and at a higher intensity in shoes.

Here's another study on the subject:

I Pull 400 Watts said...

Oh! I re-read your facebook status. You are not going to go out and buy a pair ;) Good!