“It is the start of the running re-evolution. The first stage, however, is learning and feeling how to run again, according to your very own biomechanics.
In November’s Eureka Magazine from The Times Lee Saxy and Daniel Lieberman, amongst others, discuss barefoot running. The article, written by Charlie Norton, discusses biomechanics, learning the skill of barefoot running, foot strike, barefoot and minimalist footwear, running injuries and proprioception.
The article highlights the growing research and understanding in barefoot running and hints towards the shift in the way people are thinking about human locomotion. As Lee Saxby put it:
“We’ve been banging our heads against a closed door with a crash helmet on, rather than learning the skill of opening the door. I think we are about to have a paradigm shift”
Here at VIVOBAREFOOT we’ve been talking about proprioception for a while. The author has it pretty spot on when she says:
“It seems the key to this is the feedback system linking the feet and brain, which enables the body to adjust and control shock absorption. This is known as proprioception.”
Foot strike is obviously an important factor with regard to barefoot running and the article addresses this quite succinctly:
“In addition it has long been known that landing on the forefoot and mid foot creates less landing forces than landing hard on the heel, which is very common amount people who run in standard running shoes.”
The article also hints at some new research from Dan Lieberman:
“Lieberman is collaborating with Lee Saxby, a British biomechanist and leading barefoot running coach, to study coaching techniques.”
Here’s Lieberman talking about the importance of learning the skill of barefoot running:
“Lieberman’s idea is that adopting a barefoot running technique, which requires one to run lightly and gently, is far more effective for preventing running injuries than running poorly and using shock absorption and motion control technology to cope with the effects of bad form
“Socially complex animals such as elephants and chimpanzees need rehabilitating before they go in the wild,” Lee Says. “It’s the same with unleashing the human mind on barefoot running. If you don’t know what you are doing you just wreck your legs even more with stress fractures, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.”
What is a reasonable vision? “I believe in the next generation and in future kids’ footwear,” says Saxby. “I think everyone will be barefoot or with shoes that let proprioception work. You can’t live in the Arctic, the jungle or the desert without footwear, so int the future we are looking for the perfect footwear that allows sensory feedback, does not unbalance your natural position or restrict you and also protects you from the environment.”