Posts Tagged ‘running shoes’

Here’s a wild theory being touted by Dr. Daniel Lieberman, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, and repeated by Christopher McDougall in his national best seller “Born to Run” – the modern day running shoe is killing us! Yes, literally.

Man’s evolution has required we hunt and avoid being hunted. For thousands of years we rose to the top of the species because of our ability to run distances. For most of those thousands of years we ran barefoot but then progressed to covering our feet with rudimentary soles of different materials.

Even prior to 1970’s athletes set world records and achieved Olympic gold on nothing more than thin-soled gym shoes. Then in 1971 Nike invented the modern running shoe and our days of strong feet and low incidence of knee injuries became a thing of the past.

Today you can’t talk to a runner or jogger without hearing stories of injuries and pain. It’s almost as if they expect it as part of running. It’s as if we’ve all been brainwashed into believing these super-cushioned pronation-controlling $200 running shoes are needed if you want to exercise with your feet!

But the truth seems to be the reverse. Studies in Australia at University of Newcastle conclude the modern day running shoe offers no more protection at getting fewer injuries than the old pre-1970’s vintage shoes. Others go further and believe the modern running shoe has contributed to more injuries.

Dr. Lieberman believes if modern day running shoes never existed more people would be running, and if more people ran, fewer would be dying of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and many other western ailments.

Even world renowned track coaches noted a difference in athletes running faster with fewer injuries going barefoot.

So where does all this lead?

Well, as you know I’m a great proponent of exercise for weight loss, and continue to utilize the PACE Exercise Program to help with achieving weight loss on just 20-minutes a day. The PACE Exercise for Weight Loss program is ideal for going barefoot when running and walking your intervals. Of course you need to do this inside the track on the grass or on your own treadmill.

But before you go barefoot let me offer to be the Guinea Pig. I’ll be doing this over the remainder of this summer, and I’ll check in with you in a few weeks to let you know how it’s going for me.

So don’t throw your running shoes away yet, but consider buying the cheapest pair of running shoes you can – the less support the better! And start using them on your own exercise program. See how it goes and give it time to toughen up your feet.

Don’t be reckless, and if you struggle to adjust to your new “El Cheapo” shoes then revert to your original expensive models.

It may take a little time and feel strange for awhile, but try it and let me know how it’s going for you by leaving a comment below.

Watch this space for further updates on my progress.


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