Monday, June 6, 2011

The barefoot running debate: Born to run, shoes & injury: the latest thinking

ne of the more interesting, and certainly topical presentations at the recent meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Denver was a symposium on barefoot running. It was led by Irene Davis and Daniel Lieberman, both advocates for barefoot running and top scientists in this field. Lieberman in particular is something of a 'legend' in the field, and two years ago, he gave the prestigious keynote address at the ACSM meeting.

Since then, the area has moved on, thankfully. Most recently, Lieberman's group did some fascinating work on the barefoot running concept in runners accustomed to shoes or running barefoot, and that's the focus of this post, along with some thoughts on the concepts underlying barefoot running. A lot of the time, I'll play devil's advocate, because I believe in Lieberman's findings, and the theory behind barefoot running is sound. But there are some "loopholes", and I'll end with those.