The Diane Rehm Show


The Diane Rehm Show is a National Public Radio show. On Monday, her topic was Running in America, with guests Christopher McDougal (author of Born to Run), Dr. Stephen Pribut (a specialist in Podiatric Sports Medicine), and Amby Burfoot (editor of Runner’s World, and winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon).

It was a nicely balanced show, and you can listen to it here.

One thing I found interesting is the way in which Dr. Pribut’s views are changing. He was on NPR’s Morning Edition back in 2008, and seemed pretty dismissive of bare feet, flip-flops, and barefoot running, saying things like:

To prevent injury, people don’t have to toss out flip-flops or high heels entirely. But when walking a lot, presumably on hard sidewalks, Pribut says it’s better to wear shoes with some support.


Pribut says the barefoot movement may be gaining some attention for its novelty. And the idea that thousands of years ago, shoeless civilizations had healthier feet could be true.

But back then, he notes, the average life expectancy was about 30 years. And cavewomen didn’t have to contend with glass, nails, hard concrete — or fashion.

However, in Monday’s show regarding barefoot running, his attitude seems to have shifted to, “if it works for you, fine.”

I always appreciate it when doctors update their views as new information becomes available to them.


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