Sunday, September 19, 2010

Is Barefoot Better

Bumped into an article from Wall Street Journal that talks about that running shoeless may be better.  An old entry but still a good read

Here's an excerpt
Runners and athletes are always searching for the perfect shoe to improve performance and reduce injury. But some say shoes are the problem, and the best solution may be training without them.

Some experts now believe that most athletic shoes, with their inflexible soles, structured sides and super-cushioned inserts keep feet so restricted that they may actually be making your feet lazy, weak and more prone to injury. As a result, barefoot training is gaining more attention among coaches, personal trainers and runners.

While exercising without shoes may sound painful, the idea is that your feet need a workout, too. Proponents believe running barefoot changes a runner's form and body mechanics to prevent some common athletic injuries.

Although a few coaches and marathon runners have preached the value of barefoot training, the method has received more attention lately because shoe giant Nike  is promoting its Nike Free shoe, which it claims mimics the sensation of running barefoot. Popular training methods aimed at improving running form, including the Pose Method (www.posetech.com) and ChiRunning (www.chirunning.com), also are prompting runners to consider minimalist foot gear or none at all as a way to allow their natural body mechanics to take over.

Read the rest of the article here

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