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Old 21.10.2009, 19:54
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Re: Running shoes advice

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An NY Times article on running barefoot:

Wait — why isn’t the question “Is Running in Shoes Better for You?” Since when did motion-controlling shoes become the default position for the human foot?

It’s bizarre, and i guess admirable in a perverse, market-manipulating, sucker-born-every-minute way, that motion-controlling shoes are considered natural and bare feet are seen as some kind of thrill-seeking experiment. Since when did an artificial contrivance with absolutely zero scientific evidence to recommend them become the default position? The burden of proof isn’t on the human foot — which had been doing fantastically well on its own for 2 million years, thank you very much. It’s on these overpriced, overengineered novelty items which have done nothing to decrease the injury rate in 40 years.

— christopher mcdougall

...just one of the many interesting comments on that journalistic piece.

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Personally, I run in shoes and really like them, but if running barefoot works for you, then do it. If I run in no shoes or different kinds of shoes, it hurts. Shoe fit is highly individualized, so it is really worth it to work with someone who knows what they're doing. Running for a long time in a poorly fitting shoe can cause serious and long-term injury.
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The shoe industry says that a pair of running shoes will last you 300-500 miles, so you can bet that I try to get as many miles as possible out of my franc!
I am slightly surprised that you still feel it is worth it to work with people "who know what they are doing." Of course they know what they are doing, if you mean the sales clerks in specialist shoe shops, or running coaches that advise people to buy only from "serious manufacturers"; presumably they know what such big words mean.

What we don't know however, and this is important, is the value of such knowledge. We don't know if such knowledge is just harmless story telling or something more dangerous.

The burden of proof lies on the person professing such knowledge, not on simpletons running barefoot carefree.
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