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Monday, March 14, 2011

Barefoot Babe

Barefoot Running intrigues me.  I have read articles on it.  I have watched documentaries on it and honestly, I am just desperate to stop hurting.  I have Plantars Fascitis in my left foot.  It always feels like I stepped on a rock with my heel.  It HURTS!  My foot has been in a state of trauma since I started Parade season.  Now I am a desperate woman.  I go barefoot whenever possible.  I kick off my shoes as I walk in the door every day and I wear flip flops year round until it is REALLY cold, so I will wear sneakers.  Here is some info I found on barefoot running. 

Barefoot running is running while barefoot—without wearing any shoes on the feet. Running in thin-soled, flexible shoes such as moccasins is biomechanically related, but differs significantly in that the sensory feedback from the plantar mechanoreceptors is still altered. Running in modern running shoes is quite different, and contrasted with barefoot running.[1]
In early human history, barefoot running was widespread, but this became increasingly less so following the growth of footwear usage. Barefoot running is relatively rare in modern-day populations of industrialised and wealthier countries, although it remains relatively common in many poorer nations. In terms of competitive running, virtually all modern athletes use running shoes. However, a small minority of runners have achieved success running barefoot, including Olympic champions and world record holders Abebe Bikila and Tegla Loroupe, as well as Zola Budd. (Although Bikila won the Rome Olympic marathon barefoot in 1960 in 2:15:16, at the Tokyo Olympic marathon in 1964 he wore shoes and set a world record in 2:12:11.)
The human mechanics of running are changed quite significantly when shoes are used – with natural, shoeless human running, the lateral edge of the forefoot are the part which strikes the ground with the most force. Running in padded shoes typically alters this as more emphasis is placed on the heel and the area towards the back of the foot.
Proponents, such as those identifying with the barefoot movement, argue that barefoot running is healthier for feet and reduces risk of chronic injuries, notablyrepetitive stress injuries due to the impact of heel striking in padded running shoes, in addition to other purported benefits. These health claims of barefoot running are supported by some research and advocated by some authorities, but very little research has yet been carried out, although initial results from limited studies seem to support the health claims of running barefoot.[2][3] Barefoot running is not generally advocated by mainstream medical or sports organizations, who, in the main, recommend that padded running shoes be worn, with particular consideration to foot type (type of pronation in heel strike gait).

I have a dear friend who is an advocate and an athlete.  I am sourcing some local shoes around here so I can go and try them out.  Who knows?  I could be onto something.  I just know I won't get the black ones because I don't want to look like I am doing my best Mr. Deeds impression.

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