I read a piece by someone the other day where they said they just LOVED the "New wave" of minimalist running. The trend that less is more and you should be running bare foot or in Vibram five fingers...
"New Wave" my ass!
Pictured above are my first real pairs of running shoes. Look at the soles on these things!
The left is the Onitsuka Marathon (Onitsuka later became Asics) And the right is the Boston '73. I went through three pairs of those and several pairs of Marathons before trying Addias, Etonic Street Fighters and then on to Nike Waffle trainers....
The first great running wave, that I was part of in the early 70's were bolstered by shoes like the ones above...you could wear them till they fell apart the soles almost never wore out and you could run 100 mile weeks in them, and I often did when I lived in Colorado. If the bottoms got funky you slapped on some Shoe Goo and went back out on the road.
Talk about strong feet!
Now were into the third (some say fourth) running boom since running really took off in this country. During every up tick in running in this country, at some point someone runs out the less is more thing, the Tarahumara indians, and running barefoot. It's here for awhile and then fades.
Oh, to be sure...there are people that run barefoot all the time and have for years and that works for them. There are folks that never stopped running in minimalist shoes all the time, but they call them running or racing flats which is what the shoes above were called, even though you ran in them ALL the time.
Running this way ISN'T for everyone...just like running marathons or even 5k's isn't for everyone. Many folks would have you believe it is. Don't be a sheeple. Try it and if it causes problems switch to what WILL work for you.
Vibram Five Fingers look really interesting and couldn't have existed years ago because the technology wasn't there to make them.
I've talked with many runners who have tried running barefoot or with VFF's or even minimalist shoes...they they talk about about their injuries and how much they still love the VFF's and happy to say they still get out "once in awhile" barefoot.
Now, tomorrow, I hope to get off the injured reserve list and get back out on the road. (read some previous post to find out what's been shaking with me, if you don't already know).
I am going to return to running the way I started, in "minimalist shoes" Nike Frees and racing flats and see if I can re-build the kind of foot strength I had 30 years ago. I believe that running in super cushioned shoes have made my running more sloppy and have caused more injuries than they prevented. I can say that...I have a frame of reference.
Recently had a chat with a lass who waxed on quite well about how people were meant to go about barefoot. "Why, they have always done it." she said.
I pointed out the the "Iceman" from an Italian glacier was found in leather shoes with moss stuffed in them. The Roman legionaries walking across the globe in leather hob nailed boots with foot clothes in winter. Felt shoes in ancient China, leather shoes on European mummies, rope sandals on the dead found in the High Dry of South America.
Yeah, sure people walk about barefoot, but given have a chance they'll put shoes on and with good reason. Going around barefoot will mess up your feet.