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What type of shoes should I wear?

February 24, 2010

While barefoot running might not be your thing, and it’s not mine yet, I am still conscious about what I put on my feet and run in.  Prepare your feet by strengthening them and moving to a flat shoe.  Indoor soccer shoes, racing flats or as little a shoe as possible is what you are looking for.  The more support the shoe has, the less your foot  and other joints are allowed to work the way they where designed.

Studies demonstrate that barefoot runners are more efficient, and have a lower rate of injury in their lower limbs. A good introduction can be found here.  One of the most interesting things that I read from this article is this.  Where barefoot and shod populations co-exist, as in Haiti, injury rates of the lower extremity are substantially higher in the shod population (Robbins and Hanna, 1987). Furthermore,  running-related chronic injuries to bone and connective tissue in the legs are rare in developing countries, where most people are habitually barefooted (Robbins and Hanna, 1987).

Look back here for some additional information I shared a few days ago about barefoot running, some recent studies and ideas about how to strengthen your feet.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    March 5, 2010 2:45 pm

    Paul,

    What are your opoinions about people with overpronated or underpronated feet and barefoot running? I have no arch in my foot and it hurts my knees with flat shoes like the Chuck Taylors. I need a good shoe to support my arch.

    Let me know, see you at the box!

    nick

    • March 6, 2010 9:25 pm

      Pronation and supination while running, can both be resolved by learning proper running technique and strengthening your feet. I think barefoot running is the best and that it is what our bodies where designed to do, however it’s not something that everyone should start doing blindly. With your feet you have to be careful, start slowly and get them strengthened before you start adding long periods of stress or work. They have had years in shoes and those years have changed the fundamental function of your foot. Therefore making the transition to a flatter shoe must be done slowly and with caution, but at the end of the day if you can improve your running technique and get into less of a shoe, you and your body will be happier for it.

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