Thursday, September 24, 2009
Barefoot runners keep on running
Barefoot running is building up a cult following according to rise in interest on the World Wide Web. The opinion abroad appears to be barefoot runners are of the opinion running shoes, with arch support and thick cushioning and more, are the common cause of common injuries. In a bid to over come this many runners have chosen to avoid full fashion designer sportsgear in preference for minimalist footwear. Others have abandoned footwear altogether and run au naturelle (their feet, that is). Many barefoot runners were inspired to give up their shoes after reading Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall that tells the story of the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico who run long distances with ease. Currently there is no independent evidence either way and the matter is very much personal preference. Running across hard surfaces and at the risk of injury from sharp objects like broken glass or discarded needles etc. would suggest a protective foot cover as an intelligent precautionary measure. Shoes do not however performance enhance contrary to market rhetoric inference. Whilst we maybe born to run barefoot sadly the ravages of age, illness and hard surfaces mean choice is restricted. As we age and older adults take up walking and jogging it makes good sense to protect the feet from serendipitous injuries because of impaired immune systems and compromised circulation and nerve supplies. All of which can compromise life style disease such as diabetes. To that effect shoes which comfortably fit the foot and are appropriate to use over hard surfaces and duration would seem to make good sense.