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Monday, July 2, 2012

IMPACT-SHOES OR NO SHOES

I've been running exclusively in minimalist shoes (Invisibleshoe.com's 6mm Contacts) for a substantial amount of time now.  Yesterday, I was wearing some "running shoes" after coming back from playing tennis with the kids, and just wanted to try an experiment.  I ran in "shoes!"  What I found was this.  Whether you run in traditional running shoes, barefoot, or minimalist, your foot strike is critical.  Even with the big padded heel under you, when you heel strike, there is much more jarring and impact than when you use a forefoot or mid-foot strike.  It was really noticeable as I went back and forth from heel to mid-foot.  The jarring from the heel strike was readily apparent. I'm no expert.  These are my observations, and are, of course, anecdotal.  The difference was unmistakable, though.  I am more convinced than ever that running with a mid-foot strike is just better for you.  The jarring to your internal organs when using the heel strike has to take its toll eventually.  

     You will find, of course, that if you move into barefooting or minimalist shoes, you need to transition gradually to avoid injury.  Starting to move off of your heels is a good beginning.  It will begin to condition your calves for the change over.  Even wearing "running shoes", you will notice a big difference in the reduction of impact when you start to run the way nature intended you to run!

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