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

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More from Chris . . . shoes sometimes better than bare feet? sure

So how come elite marathoners don’t go barefoot?

They do. Take another look up top at Vin Lananna's take on bare feet and elites. Also, the best pro marathoners in the world — Kenyans and Ethiopians — run thousands of miles in bare feet before ever strapping on their first pair of shoes. Coach Joe Vigil estimates that Kenyan teenagers have already logged some 18,000 miles before entering competition. By the time they get their first pair of shoes, their running technique is already hard-wired for lightfooted efficiency. When it comes to a race, of course they’ll wear a racing flat. Who would risk their entire year’s payday by stepping on an acorn?

Which brings up the final point...

Shoes are sometimes better than bare feet.

Nike actually got it right with its first few generations of shoes. They were thin and light, offering just what runners needed and no more: a little protection from rough ground and cold weather. But problems arise when protection turns into correction, and marketing takes over for education. Once gimmicks take over and technique is scuttled.


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