Barefoot Training

My friend Art Horne from Northeastern University has just released a book on barefoot training and barefoot running.  Art did a great job reviewing the topic, including reviewing the available evidence.  Pretty cheap off Amazon too, click the image below to check it out.

Barefoot Training

Here is the publisher’s info on the book:

Are you wondering why your running shoes resemble high heels? Ever think about why your big toe overlaps your second and why your arch really isn’t an arch anymore and resembles more of a pancake? Thinking about baring your sole? Barefoot training has recently become popularized as a potential benefit in injury prevention and rehabilitation programs. It is also purported to serve as an additional means to enhance athletic performance and running economy. However, limited clinical research is currently available to justify this practice and even less information is available describing how one may go about safely implementing a barefoot training program. This book explores the scientific and theoretical benefits concerning the merits of forgoing the modern running shoe for a simpler approach and offers real life solutions to all the obstacles standing between your feet and mother earth. Although it’s true that Americans love their shoes, what you learn about the merits of stuffing your feet and toes into these modern day casts might just have you singing a different tune – a tune your feet will certainly be much happier moving to. Welcome to Barefoot in Boston!
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2 Responses to “Barefoot Training”

  1. As Ryan Hall once said, “the best guys (runners) in the world are wearing shoes.” People can debate all they want about shod vs unshod but at the end of the day it comes down to keeping the head properly positioned, staying organized in the lower extremity in the sense of establishing a stable and level base at the level of pelvis, controlling femoral rotation, establishing adequate hip flexor and soleus extensibility, having good talocrural mobility and being able to progress over the great toe (requiring at least 40 degrees of MTP dorsiflexion) to take advantage of the Windlass mechanism. In the case of barefoot running, I only do it during the transition zone of triathlons because I know that with having a forefoot striking pattern that I need cushioning there if I hope to run past the age of 50…otherwise my metatarsals will be toast and there goes running. One of the major arguments is that barefoot running teaches runners to run on the forefoot. Well if thats the case, why I am seeing a whole slew of people with calcaneal injuries??? The pattern I see with people running (which is really a stretch to even call it running) barefoot or in the vibram five fingers is a sloppy, externally rotated foot position, minimal hip extension, with abnormal loading of the great toe and a collapse of the medial foot and ankle structures. Lastly, why is it that Vibrams have a medical disclaimer on the website and shoe box? I dont know any other company (not even companies that make women’s high heels) that have such a disclaimer. Keith Olberman developed two metatarsal stress fractures from running in Vibrams. If only it were so easy. WIth all that said, the book has been ordered and I hope that the model on the cover learns to keep his foot straight and that he is mindful of all things upstream from the foot.

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