1) I see what you're saying. I don't mean that you just look at the ground, I mean you look at that (and other stuff in your way) more than when using shoes in an instinctive way, or at least I think I do! I frequently run on pavement made of concrete slabs and find that I don't really put any great "thought" into avoiding the cracks where the slabs stick up, it's sort of taken care of to some extent (kind of like a built in helping hand - your brain probably picks up a lot from peripheral vision but a glance at your anticipated route now & then helps a lot).
2) I agree that some people will be hooked for it as a fashion thing. But for me (and others) that is not the case. I've never been one to follow fashion, (if you saw me you'd agree right away I expect!). For me it's just to find a way to run, any way that works, that is fun and, for me, this has worked (and is fun) so far.
3) Yes, there's lots of research. I think what TJ is saying is that there's actually nothing scientific and "correctly" reviewed that most companies can point to for why any shoe is like it is. That may go for many/all shoes on both sides of the debate. We can all be seduced by spin if we have a want.
Yes, feet sure are all different. They mostly have the same basic characteristics, some affected more by modern life or the chance of genetics etc. than others. Life is not a one thing fits all. I think many people could run in cushiony shoes and some do so for decades. I also think many people could run barefoot given the inclination (like me). Actually I think most people could do either and I don't need to push anything here, but happy to add my perspective on things.
Sad to hear your sis' hurt herself, hope she's fine now. I hurt myself in running shoes.
I think there's a chance that either way you *could* end up with a problem. I don't think that barefoot presents more of a risk in most cases, just different risks which I would say are (typically) summed up as follows:
Cushiony shoes: low immediate risk, high long term risk. Barefoot: increased immediate risk, low long term risk.
I gather that appropriately reviewed independent scientific research backs this up in a convincingly high number of cases.
Posted: 03/03/2011 at 23:17