Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Expensive Running Shoes Could Be Worse Than Useless

I've posted on this topic before, but it's worth repeating: runners, of whom 90 percent suffer injuries every year, would be better off leaving their expensive running shoes at home, and running barefoot.

Science and sceptical runners are catching up with something the Tarahumara Indians have known for ever: your naked feet are fine on their own. According to a growing body of clinical research, those expensive running shoes you've been relying on may be worse than useless: they could be causing the very injuries they're supposed to prevent.

Perhaps the best research in the field has been going on for hundreds of years in a maze of canyons in northern Mexico. There, the reclusive Tarahumara tribe routinely engage in races of 150 miles or more, the equivalent of running the London Marathon six times in the same day. Despite this extreme mileage, as I learnt during several treks into the canyons, the Tarahumara are somehow immune to the injuries that plague the rest of the running world. Read more

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