Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Threshold Established - Then What?

So one of the many challenges we deal with is determining at what point we can run barefoot-like. For some, it's going 100% barefoot, for others it a true minimalist shoe, for others it racing shoes or XC flats, for others it may be some else. But, after you determine at what point you can run barefoot-like, is there any advantage into migrating further down? That is, for example, if you can run barefoot-like in Bikilas, Treks, Evo's or anything similar to a Saucony Grid Type A-4, should you stop or continue to migrate to something even more minimal?

I think it's an interesting question. If I can run fine with the insole in the Evo, which adds about 2-3mm of protection, what's the advantages of removing more layers? I think we all understand the perception issue so I'm thinking of something more than "it just gives you more ground feel or perception." Does that really matter, if you are running barefoot-like, without injury?

This may be what some of the major shoe companies like Nike and NB are doing. Why develop a true zero drop if, for example, the new Minimus or Nike Free allows people to run more barefoot-like and injury rates are reduced? I'm not saying it's like running barefoot but it's a step toward the goal. If the Minimus improves form and technique and injuries are reduced, why go further?

I think it's an interesting topic. A friend got me thinking about it when he thought I ran in the Evo with the insole and I told him I removed the insole. It got me thinking, if there's no injury or performance difference, why remove the extra protection if it feels good?


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