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Thumbs up Barefoot running easier on feet than running shoes
by Narkissos 04-20-2010, 06:24 PM



New research casts doubts on some major assumptions
January 27, 2010
Rebecca Hersher '11
Harvard College

New Harvard research casts doubt on the old adage, “All you need to run is a pair of shoes.”

Scientists have found that people who run barefoot, or in minimal footwear, tend to avoid “heel-striking,” and instead land on the ball of the foot or the middle of the foot. In so doing, these runners use the architecture of the foot and leg and some clever Newtonian physics to avoid hurtful and potentially damaging impacts, equivalent to two to three times body weight, that shod heel-strikers repeatedly experience.

“People who don’t wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike,”said Daniel E. Lieberman, a professor in Harvard's new department of human evolutionary biology and co-author of a paper appearing this week in the journal Nature.By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike.

“Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain. All you need is a few calluses to avoid roughing up the skin of the foot. Further, it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes.”

Working with populations of runners in the United States and Kenya, Lieberman and his colleagues at Harvard, the University of Glasgow, and Moi University in Kenya looked at the running gaits of three groups: those who had always run barefoot, those who had always worn shoes, and those who had converted to barefoot running from shod running. The researchers found a striking pattern.

Most shod runners — more than 75 percent of Americans — heel-strike, experiencing a very large and sudden collision force about 1,000 times per mile run. People who run barefoot, however, tend to land with a springy step toward the middle or front of the foot.

“Heel-striking is painful when barefoot or in minimal shoes because it causes a large collisional force each time a foot lands on the ground,” said co-author Madhusudhan Venkadesan, a postdoctoral researcher in applied mathematics and human evolutionary biology at Harvard. “Barefoot runners point their toes more at landing, avoiding this collision by decreasing the effective mass of the foot that comes to a sudden stop when you land, and by having a more compliant, or springy, leg.”

The differences between shod and unshod running have evolutionary underpinnings. For example, said Lieberman, our early Australopithancestors had less-developed arches in their feet. Homo sapiens, by contrast, has evolved a strong, large arch that we use as a spring when running.
“Our feet were made in part for running,” Lieberman said. But as he and his co-authors write in Nature: “Humans have engaged in endurance running for millions of years, but the modern running shoe was not invented until the 1970s. For most of human evolutionary history, runners were either barefoot or wore minimal footwear such as sandals or moccasins with smaller heels and little cushioning.”

For modern humans who have grown up wearing shoes, barefoot or minimal shoe running is something to be eased into, warned Lieberman. Modern running shoes are designed to make heel-striking easy and comfortable. The padded heel cushions the force of the impact, making heel-striking less punishing.

“Running barefoot or in minimal shoes is fun but uses different muscles,” said Lieberman. “If you’ve been a heel-striker all your life, you have to transition slowly to build strength in your calf and foot muscles.”
In the future, he hopes, the kind of work done in this paper can not only investigate barefoot running but can provide insight into how to better prevent the repetitive-stress injuries that afflict a high percentage of runners today.

“Our hope is that an evolutionary medicine approach to running and sports injury can help people run better for longer and feel better while they do it,” said Lieberman.

The Naturepaper arose out of the senior honors theses of two Harvard undergraduates, William Werbel ’08 and Adam Daoud ‘09, both of whom went to Africa with Lieberman to help collect data for this study.
Lieberman’s co-authors on the Nature paper are Venkadesan and Daoud at Harvard; Werbel, now at the University of Michigan; Susan D’Andrea of the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Providence; Irene S. Davis of the University of Delaware; and Robert Ojiambo Mang’Eni and Yannis Pitsiladis of Moi University in Kenya and the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

The research was funded by the American School of Prehistoric Research, the Goelet Fund, Harvard University, and Vibram USA.




Taken from: http://harvardscience.harvard.edu/fo...-running-shoes
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Old 04-26-2013
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ran barefoot today
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Old 04-26-2013
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This is an interesting read, nothing compares to the feel of the earth between your toes.

I'm not afraid to run barefoot in fact I love it. I have almost always done it and I will continue to do it but it matters where I do it because my biggest fear is stepping on a piece of glass or some fuck like that.

Growing up my parents stopped buying me new running shoes for the athletic term and invested in softwear for my daily activities because 1). I rode, skateboarded, roller-bladed on a daily basis and I use to run against/with the boys in my neighbourhood. Shoes? pfft! Whenever I hit the field for sports the first thing I'd do is take off my shoes. I think my competitors used to hate when I do so, its was like, "Fuck, Ronelle's gonna win this race now."
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Old 04-27-2013
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i like barefoot running but depends on the surface otherwise it just fucking hurts

i got the 5 finger feet shoes i use ( though i havent ran for a while ) these are great

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Originally Posted by t-gunz View Post
i like barefoot running but depends on the surface otherwise it just fucking hurts

i got the 5 finger feet shoes i use ( though i havent ran for a while ) these are great


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Old 06-21-2014
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I don't like those calluses. It might not injure me, running barefoot, but it surely gonna make my feet ugly. This doesn't bother me at all, but I just don't feel like running on barefoot, so I would probably buy the Nike's Free Flyknit 3.0. I have been hearing the benefits of running barefoot in the past, but only now that I got to read an article about it. And by doing so, I think I am convinced that I should use a shoes that feels very close to the ground that it almost feels like you are running barefoot.
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Last week, five finger shoes (the "terrain" version) and mountain orienteering. A very, very bad idea! Fortunatelly my toe returned to its original color, size and function after about 4 days, but next time I rather take proper shoes.
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Wow! All this time, I had it right in the back of my mind that running in general--and running on the sand--was better done when shoes were worn! .
It always occurred to me that shoes were actually absolutely necessary, because of how soft the soles of our feet are, and with making direct contact with the sand.
But your article, and the information contained in it, are so enlightening!
I ought to definitely try running on the sand sans the shoes now. I just have to be careful that I don't run over something sharp , which is very possible on these sandy shores: whether it's rocks, which occur naturally on the beach, or some item of waste, like a beer bottle.
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Old 09-14-2014
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Originally Posted by Jitka View Post
Attachment 950
Last week, five finger shoes (the "terrain" version) and mountain orienteering. A very, very bad idea! Fortunatelly my toe returned to its original color, size and function after about 4 days, but next time I rather take proper shoes.
Had you ever used minimalist shoes in terrain like that prior?
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