Have any High Sierra or any other long thru-hikers used Vibram 5 Finger shoes for their primary hiking shoe?
Check out their KSO Trek, which looks like it might do the job (I want to know):
Interesting read below, I definitely want to read the recommended book, Born To Run
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Barefoot Running According to Daniel Lieberman
February 8, 2010 · By Dr. Snell
Harvard anthropologist and barefoot runner, Daniel Lieberman, recently had his study on barefoot running published in Nature. You may have caught the story on NPR, along with the companion piece on OPB about how the news was received here in Portland, ground zero for running shoes. You can get the skinny on a 6 minute video interview with the author, posted on the Nature site. That video contains a few great force plate visuals, showing how the difference in foot fall changes the force distribution through the foot. Those of you who are coaches, doctors or dedicated runners might like to bookmark Lieberman’s Harvard website, which is all inclusive and has slow motion video of Kenyan runners who have never worn shoes. It might be worth noting that the study and Lieberman’s website are partially funded by Vibram USA, makers of the Vibram Five Fingers shoes you’ll see me sporting in today’s video.
I have had the Vibram five Fingers for a couple of years, and have worn them intermittently for running, more frequently for gym workouts. Despite what most people intuitively think, the shoes and barefoot running in general, result in less overall impact force than when running with thick, cushy, motion control shoes. Lieberman’s findings in the study help to prove this and include:
* The fossil record suggests that humans not only evolved as endurance runners, but that they evolved to run long distance landing on the forward part of the foot.
* The vast majority of runners wearing thick running shoes land on their heels
* Barefoot runners typically run on their forefoot
* The peak force generated in a barefoot runner with forefoot impact is 3 times less than that generated by a shod (shoe wearing) runner landing on the heel.
* This reduction in force may have public health implications by reducing number of running-related injuries. Future studies need to see if this is true.
* Since the advent of motion control running shoes in the ’70s, running related injury prevalence has not declined.
For those of you who want to learn a bit more about this stuff but prefer a good adventure story to dry science, you might want to check out Born To Run, by Chris McDougall. It’s written by a journalist who had chronic running related injuries that didn’t respond well to treatment. Frustrated, he learned of forefoot striking styles of running, changed his stride and went to the deserts of Northern Mexico to learn how to run better from the indigenous Tarahumara Indians in the Copper Canyon. The book culminates in an ultra-marathon race between several of the top ultra-marathoners from the US pitted against the Tarahumara, clad in their homemade leather sandals.