Just for fun – in response to this “infographic” http://runningshoes.com/barefoot-running, here are my thoughts
1. “Barefoot running shoes” are still shoes. And despite considerably less materials and research, still cost about the same.
2. Bikila won the Olympic marathon barefoot in 1960. True. He wore shoes in 1964. His fastest marathon time was in 1964. Also true.
3. I have read articles that say that podiatrists have seen more running related injuries since the “barefoot revolution”. Especially cuts, bruises, plantar fasciitus, second metatarsal stress fractures, and Achilles tendonitis.
4. Most race winners wear shoes. Except the Tarahumara. Oh wait, they wear huraches. Which are sorta like sandals, which are a sorta shoe, which is sorta not barefoot.
5. I imagine that running through dog crap (broken glass etc) is considerably more pleasant in shoes than not.
6. I could write a book (well, at least a blog post) that hypothesizes that more injuries are caused by running too fast than anything else. It is just as plausible as McDougall’s theories.
7. How many of those 65-80% that receive an injury annually, don’t train regularly, run too fast, slip on ice, trip on trails etc.? Could it be a bit of a false correlation, kinda like saying “65% of cars have engine problems, all cars have tires, therefore we should drive with no tires.”
8. “1.25 more likely to have an injury in an expensive running shoe”. Here’s a thought – those who spend more money on shoes, are more likely to run more.
9. Just because it is in “Born to Run” doesn’t mean it is true.
10. Just because it is on the internet, doesn’t mean it is true. Please consider that this article is on the internet also (‘article’ LOL, WTF? article??)
But here is my honest opinion. Barefoot running and running in lightweight shoes can be fun and enjoyable. I certainly enjoy running in my Merrell Trail Gloves. It gives my feet a good strength workout, and over time can build up and strengthen Achilles and calf muscles etc. It also drastically reduces the risk of ankle rolls when trail running. Also, I enjoy the light weight of my Kinvaras, NB 101’s, [101’s – Best.Shoe.Ever.] I also enjoy their cushioning. The problem is that there are some who are promoting barefoot running as the be all and end all of running. It isn’t. Or at least that’s what I think. But WTF do I know?