Should You Be Running Barefoot?

Should You Be Running Barefoot?: “To learn what’s going on inside the body, which, after all, is where we runners develop all our stress fractures, Achilles strains, and so forth, a medical team needs to take measurements from–ouch!–inside the body. I’ve actually seen this take place in a biomechanics lab, and it’s a blood sport. The combatants typically include a mad Ph.D. scientist and several grad students (a.k.a. the ‘volunteers’) desperate to finish their degree work. (‘Sure, I’ll be happy to let you drill a metal accelerometer into my shin bone before my next treadmill run,’ says a grad student.) The results of several of these intrusive experiments have shown little change in shock absorption or motion-control in shod versus unclad feet. This apparent difference seems hard to believe. All that foam padding and all those posts, bridges, and dual-density midsoles have to be doing something, right?”

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