Now that I'm back on the track with my training group, I started to think about the fact the best and fastest runners in the world tend to start on the track (800 meters to 10k). Then I thought about track spikes and how light and minimal they are. Then I started to read about track spikes, the history, design, function, etc. and here are a few things I found:
- "track spikes are ultra-lightweight to resemble barefoot running without any restrictions for full range of motion stride."
- " . . . running in track spikes are more akin to running barefoot which helps you achieve your best running form."
- "track spikes are so light that it's almost like running barefoot"
I've found numerous articles that reference "barefoot" when talking about track spikes and connect form and technique of running barefoot to track spikes. So, if this is the case, and it's always been the case that track spikes are light and minimal, and if the design of the spike is for performance, form, technique and speed, and that is akin to barefoot, then that further supports barefoot.
There further connections between spikes and flexibility and foot mobility so again, further support for barefoot. And, this isn't new and this has been the case for many years. Just look at the spikes from the 50's/60's and not too much has changed looking forward to today. However, look at regular running shoes and we see how they've changed over the past 40-50 years. So, why the change? Because the track is associated with elite gifted runners, when in fact, perhaps one of the many reasons they are elite and gifted is because of the minimal barefoot-like footwear they use for practice, training and racing.
Something to think about. Go down the line of the great track runners many of whom later moved to the half and full marathon and they all wore track spikes for a long time and perhaps that wasn't a difficult transition from barefoot since it may be the closest to barefoot.