The Consumed column in this week's venerable, yet sometimes controversial, New York Times Magazine, focused on the theory that advanced running shoe technology has actually done harm to our feet and the rise in popularity of the Vibram FiveFingers as a sort of backlash and in part due to Christopher McDougall's book "Born to Run." The irony lies in the fact, as journalist Rob Walker points out, that Vibram FiveFingers also relies heavily on technology and research.
The theories behind the two types of shoes are strikingly different however. High tech running shoes, made popular by Nike, are meant to correct our flaws, and protect our feet. The idea behind barefoot and Vibram FiveFingers is that our feet are incredible natural structures and by using high padded shoes we can do ourselves more harm by altering our natural running form and not allowing the 20 muscles in our feet as well as the muscles through our legs and hips to strengthen as they should to keep us free from injury.
As someone who has been dealing with foot injuries for the past 10 months now, on and off, I can say this whole idea of barefoot running, or wearing Vibram FiveFingers, is pretty interesting to me. Several models of running shoes, a walking cast, daily heat and ice treatments as well as ultrasound treatments, taping, and cortisone shots, and being told 'do not walk around barefoot' part of me thinks "why can't this be the answer?" I don't know if it is, and truthfully I don't see myself spending $100 on these when they may make things worse, but I do think it's an interesting alternative. The rise of technology driven and space age running shoes has only been very recent, while people have been running for thousands of years. If nothing else, perhaps by learning to run landing on my forefoot rather than my heel. Maybe that will do the trick?! Just have to figure out exactly how to do that! Maybe I'll try jogging barefoot on the beach while we're Up North!
Have you ever run barefoot or thought about it? Perhaps you're one of the thousands of Vibram FiveFingers Facebook fans who have proclaimed their love for wearing them 'everywhere'?!
I hope you're having a GREAT holiday weekend!
Workout Stats -
3x10 cable pull twist
3x10 hammer curl
3x10 bicep curl
3x10 front straight arm raise
3x10 side bends with dumbbells