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Why barefoot isn't best for most runners
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Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Why barefoot isn't best for most runners" on 09/13/2013 19:56:43 MDT Print View

"Evolution is about success in mating. With that, the best shoes for hiking and running are very expensive Italian loafers, and maybe high heels."

Only when paired with a Lotus or Bugati. In the modern age, it's the wheels that make the man, not the shoes.

Richard May

Locale: Swamplands.
Re: Re: Why barefoot isn't best for most runners" on 09/13/2013 20:02:44 MDT Print View

"Only when paired with a Lotus or Bugati. In the modern age, it's the wheels that make the man, not the shoes."

Yeah, I know this dates me. :)

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
Re: popcorn on 09/14/2013 23:09:07 MDT Print View

"Buttered or nutritional yeast?"

Nutritional yeast--I'm allergic to dairy.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Why barefoot isn't best for most runners" on 09/14/2013 23:21:44 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 09:16:26 MDT.

Brittany W
(quasarr) - F

Locale: Southeast
Born to walk on 09/15/2013 19:23:49 MDT Print View

I just don't believe I was born to run. My ancestors weren't chasing down their food - turns out potatoes don't run very fast.

I was born to carry sacks of turnips. Any 14th century peasant would be happy to have me for a wife!!

Edited by quasarr on 09/15/2013 19:50:19 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Born to walk on 09/15/2013 20:57:34 MDT Print View

Agree with that.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Ancient Shoes on 09/15/2013 21:24:38 MDT Print View

Ancient people seem to have made shoes whenever they could. The thickness of the soles seems to have been limited by materials. Its hard to make Nike shoes with leather soles.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Minimalist Shoes on 09/15/2013 21:40:53 MDT Print View

I tried running in a variety of somewhat minimalist shoes and did okay but I was mostly getting sore muscles after 2 miles or so.

One day I went out and more for the heck of it then anything else I tried my Trail Gloves which were more minimalist then what I'd been running in. I ended up doing four miles and feeling pretty good afterwards (first time I'd done that in a while).

I'm not completely sold on "barefoot" running. I tried on a friends Five Fingers with 2 mm soles and they weren't enough for me. The Trail Gloves are barely enough. So some cushion is nice. But too much is a problem too. I tried Altra Lone Peaks once or twice on that route and thought they were a bit stiff for forefoot strike running, it was hard to get the technique right.

I can say I definately ran better in my "barefoot" Trail Gloves compared to my NB101s.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Ancient Shoes on 09/15/2013 22:37:32 MDT Print View

I was talking to my Crow Indian uncle about teepees, and I asked him why they switched from buffalo hide to canvas. He said that the hide ones lasted much longer than canvas, but were heavier and took a lot more work to make. Every couple of years, you would have to cut the bottom few feet off and sew on fresh hide, as the bottom tends to rot and wear out faster from dew, snow, tension from the stakes, etc. They would use the cut-off portion to make bags, leggings, and other items that need soft leather. I asked him if they made shoes out of it, and he said no, that they used leather from the tops of the teepee for that, when a whole teepee cover was scrapped. The upper sections would be almost black, seasoned from the small fires that warmed the teepee's interior. The smoked buffalo hide in one or two layers made an excellent moccasin sole, long-wearing and nearly waterproof. The sinew used to sew them would also swell when wet, working to seal the needle holes.

My grandma added that if an Indian girl went around with too many boys and did bad things, they would say, "Look at dat girl over derr... she's got a hole in her moccasin."

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Ancient Shoes on 09/15/2013 23:05:19 MDT Print View

Daniel: Great story. When in Barrow, I we got tossed in the air on a walrus skin. It was easy to see that it was quite a project to stitch a walrus skin into a round of leather with hand loops for 30 people to hold.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Ancient Shoes on 09/16/2013 00:36:32 MDT Print View

You know the Walrus has the second-largest penis in the animal kingdom?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Re Ancient Shoes on 09/16/2013 05:46:40 MDT Print View

I saw a buffalo hide at Bent's Old Fort and the leather was about 1/3 inch thick in places. A pair of moccasins from that would have been pretty nice, I'd guess about as protective as Trail Gloves or thicker Five Fingers. I believe most plains tribes used separate piece of leather for the sole. Makes sense when its thicker, stiffer leather.

Sleeping on that hide would have been very comfy to. A re-enactor showed us how you could fold a buffalo hide over on itself (fur in) to make a very comfortable mattress. Not UL though.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re Re Re Re Ancient Shoes on 09/17/2013 23:01:56 MDT Print View

Teepees were originally quite small and crowded. It wasn't until the Spanish brought horses to the New World, that Plains Indians were able to make and transport large shelters. I've slept in large teepees constructed with more than a dozen poles, each 25-30' long. Slept four adults and three kids, plus all kinds of gear, no problem. To move a lodge that size would require at least two strong horses just to drag the poles. The Crow Indians, known for having the largest teepees, accordingly also had the most horses. The covers are canvas now, much lighter, but there's no getting around having to lug a bundle of lodgepole pine teepee poles. It's a shame too, because the Plains Indian teepee is the finest shelter I have ever slept in (including traditional houses). If I could live in one year-round I would. I would probably choose something smaller, with poles around 10-12', just big enough for me and my mate and our baby. Don't think she'd go for a house with no running water though....

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Ancient Shoes on 09/17/2013 23:26:24 MDT Print View

One thing that many people are failing to mention is the design of ancient shoes vs. modern footwear.

Ever see a pair of ancient 12mm+ drop woven sandals with pronation control, a narrow, pointed toebox, tons of cushioning, and generous arch support?

Neither have I.

Because ancient peoples wore some iteration of shoes does not negate much of the thinking that has come from the "barefoot" community and trickled into shoe design: zero or low drop, low center of gravity, minimal enough cushioning to still be responsive, ample room to spread the toes, and no "stability", arch support, or "motion control" gimmicks.

Most ancient footwear that I've seen serves no purpose but to protect the sole of the foot from sharps, heat, and cold. Other than that, it lets the foot behave as a foot.

That's the exact same thinking behind most of the "barefoot" and minimal inspired footwear out today.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: Ancient shoes on 09/18/2013 08:17:02 MDT Print View

+1 Craig. Well stated.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Ancient Shoes on 09/18/2013 08:25:13 MDT Print View

+1 to Craig's post.

I also feel that most of the criticism of the barefoot thinking comes from people who haven't actually tried it, and most of the support for it comes from people who have at least given it a go. Once you take some time to let your feet adjust, you'd be surprised by how much your feet adapt.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Ancient Shoes on 09/18/2013 09:39:00 MDT Print View

Much of my "criticism" of it comes from the notion that just because something is good for some people means it's good for everyone. Not everyone needs orthotics (and I'm talking to you, all you darned podiatrists!!), and not everyone can go pure barefoot. Yes, people should try; yes, it's a great workout; and yes, you have to work at it. But the fact is, despite all the purely anecdotal evidence that it helps people avoid injury, we really don't know that yet.

So I am simply reserving my professional judgement until I have some more randomized controlled trials to study (the few that are out there actually don't look good for the wonders of barefoot running); I show some of my patients how to train barefoot, and I put a few of them in orthotics. Most need a happy medium.

I do really get annoyed by the argument that we evolved without shoes, therefore we don't really need them. Well, YOUR bones developed with cushion under your feet, and the muscles in YOUR lower kinetic chain developed with support under your heels. Homo sapiens evolved without clothes or covering, yet if I don't cover every inch of my skin either with cloth or with chemicals, I burn like crazy.

I am not arguing against barefoot running/hiking, I just think it's not the be-all end-all some say it is, and moderation is key.

Richard May

Locale: Swamplands.
Re: Re: Ancient Shoes on 09/18/2013 11:38:51 MDT Print View

> I am not arguing against barefoot running/hiking, I just think it's not the be-all end-all some say it is, and moderation is key.

Thank you. Panaceas have a habit of turning out not to be.

The problem with the evolution argument is that proponents on both sides feel they are being told that everybody has 'perfectly formed feet' (and your are wuss for not going barefoot) or, we have evolved to be 'congenitally deformed' (and you are stupid for trying to go barefoot). Frankly, both extremes are wrong.

The adaptation argument holds more water. It assumes that at birth your feet are 'good enough' to go barefoot (that doesn't mean you've got the mechanics of Usain Bolt) but wearing shoes can change them enough to create a dependency on shoes. Muscular deficiencies can be worked on, skeletal changes probably not. So duh, bare feet are not for everyone.

But then neither is music, painting, mathematics, literature, business management, etc. Some need warmer sleeping bags than others. Why should bare feet be any different?

edit: clarified last sentence

Edited by richardmay on 09/18/2013 11:40:20 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Ancient Shoes on 09/18/2013 12:10:44 MDT Print View

Well put Craig, I was just about to post the exact same thing.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Ancient Shoes on 09/18/2013 12:20:10 MDT Print View

You are all neglecting to address the most important issue here, which is that running sucks.