Is wealth health?

Every runner can agree that lighter shoes feel best on any run, whether its a mile or a marathon. I was attracted to light weight shoes when I came across the book Born To Run. The book is basically about a group of people hidden near The Rocky Mountains called the Tarahumara. They run distances up to 100 to 200 mile foot races wearing just their home made sandals. Despite all this running they manage to have no running related injuries (there are also no reported cases of cancer, depression, diabetes or wife beatings).Image

Now this made me think, why can’t American runners manage to run something like a 10k without being injured and why can’t we control our injuries with the abundant supply of technology and top of the line running shoes. In short the answer is simple, we were engineered to be running barefoot. Studies conducted by Harvard prove the most natural strikes are forefoot and that is only possible if we were not to have tons of cushioning.

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This picture was taken of a Kenyan native running without shoes, mind you he has not worn shoes his entire life and this is what his strike looks like.

 

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With modern running shoes all of the shock is absorbed onto the knee, the knee being a sensitive bone it can only handle so much pressure. In addition, this form makes it more difficult to have quicker strides.

 

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This however is how we naturally run and how we were made to be running. This strike allows for the shock to be absorbed in the calf muscle. Logically, this form of running makes more sense, why you may ask. The calves are a muscle that can tear and become stronger, in the end making runs efficient and smoother.

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I took on this form of running by investing in New Balance Minimus trail zero. I will discuss my initial thoughts on the transition from traditional running shoes to barefoot shoes.
You can also check out the study by clicking Barefoot Running
In the mean time, I want to hear your thoughts.
I want to know, what type of shoes do you wear? Have you considered running with minimal shoes?
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3 comments on “Is wealth health?

  1. Hey Ebenezer – great post! I have gone back and forth on the barefoot/minimalist running thing. I have a mix of stability shoes (fitted for at my local running store to suit my flat, pronating feet) and minimal to zero-drop shoes. I have not run farther than 5 or 6 miles in my lighter shoes, but I do enjoy shorter, faster runs in them. I’m looking forward to hearing how your transition goes!

    • Awesome, I understand how running too much on barefoot shoes can be a problem. I’d suffered from back pain and calf pain and I look forward to sharing that. Thanks for reading!

  2. I have to say…I’m a big fan of the minimus line and shoes. It requires a lot of transition time (not going too far, too fast or running too hard) but it’s been really great for my knees and IT band which were problems before I started wearing them.

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