Sunday, April 19, 2009

Running Shoes: Bad for You?

So, you're sitting in a Boston-area hotel, nervously sweating out the final few hours before the race you've spent the past year focusing on (qualifying, training, etc.). So, to while away the hours, you turn to the local newspaper (the Boston Globe, one of the many whose existence is threatened.)

And then you read this passage:

"Running shoes are a failed experiment. After nearly four decades of technological gimmicks and outrageous prices, they simply do not perform the function that's their only reason for existence -- protecting your feet."

The article in today's Sunday magazine, "What Ruins Running," argues that the softer running shoes caused us to change our running mechanics, and rather than landing on the ball of our foot, we now more prominently make a heel-to-toe stride, and that's caused even more problems.

The change in foot plant is one of the reasons why there's a number of proponents of barefoot running (and, for that matter, one of the marketing reasons behind the Nike Free running shoes).

Not saying I totally buy the argument made in the article, but I'm also fully in the camp of that individuals are unique (duh) and that some types of training will work well for some and not for others.

Meanwhile, something to think about.

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