Christopher McDougall, author of the forthcoming Born to Run, excerpts a section of his book that suggests costly, tech-term-laden training shoes aren't helping runners all that much—and they may actually be hurting.
Photo by BitchBuzz.
McDougall draws from sports science, evolutionary study, and evidence from coaches and running teams that shoes with top-of-the-line "support," "impact resistance," and other features have actually resulted in more injuries for runners than using cheap, low-tech sneakers. There's actually an argument made for running barefoot as, McDougall argues, the human body was designed for.
Dr Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, has been studying the growing injury crisis in the developed world for some time and has come to a startling conclusion: 'A lot of foot and knee injuries currently plaguing us are caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to over-pronate (ankle rotation) and give us knee problems.
'Until 1972, when the modern athletic shoe was invented, people ran in very thin-soled shoes, had strong feet and had a much lower incidence of knee injuries.'
Don't go tossing out your sneaks just yet, though—any doctor will tell you that a sudden change in footwear will almost certainly cause pain and injury. Seeing as how most of us have been running with modern sneakers since we could really run, barefoot or thin leather soles aren't going to cut it. But keep the injury evidence in mind next time you feel obligated to pay top dollars for something you're born to do anyways. The painful truth about trainers: Are expensive running shoes a waste of money? [Mail Online via Slashdot]