Ditch your trainers and run barefoot

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Barefoot running is gaining in popularity. Runners keep expressing that throwing away running shoes will lead to better performance and less injury, but how often do we hear that from a shoe manufacturer? Galahad Clark, responsible for Terra Plana shoes, recently went on the record by saying just that.

Let me repeat that for readers in shock. Shoe manufacturer Galahad Clark recently stated for the London Evening Standard in Ditch your trainers and run barefoot, “Barefoot running is the future.” On a TV show he went on to say, “The tyranny of sports shoes must end.”

So what happened? First, Clark is a runner. Second, he listened to other runners, including famed barefoot running advocate Christopher McDougall. Finally, Clark tried running barefoot for himself. He was hooked.

After working with the team that designed the Vivo Barefoot and even wearing them every day, Clark now removes them to run. This year he ran the New York marathon barefoot. Where will all this lead? Hopefully more sensible shoe designs will emerge. Better still would be a greater acceptance of simply going shoeless.

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4 Responses to “Ditch your trainers and run barefoot”

  1. Jason Robillard Says:

    The knock on barefoot running has always been a lack of convincing empirical evidence. Even though it DOES exist, it is not quite overwhelming. It will be very interesting to see how this develops over the next few years. As barefoot running gains in popularity, we can expect research to follow suit. I suspect the research will confirm what anecdotal evidence has told us for some time… barefoot running has a lower correlation to injuries than shod running. We’ll see…

  2. Bob Neinast Says:

    One trouble is that it really is difficult to do the sort of empirical study to test things (let along doing it double-blind!). To do things right, you’d have to start with two groups of new runners, and randomly assign some to the shod group and one to the barefoot group, and then track them. That’s probably just too impractical and too expensive to do.

  3. Barefoot Josh Says:

    Given how running shoes are designed, I’m not sure most runners know what “empirical evidence” really means.

  4. Unshod Ashish Says:

    The question isn’t “why run barefoot?” The question is “why wear running shoes?”

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