Imagine a person 30+ with a 9-5 job sitting in front of a computer screen most of the day, 2hrs commute sitting. This human also trains 2-3 times a week at the local gym with some weights. Now it is time to go for the marathon and prepare for it. Is this person going to check if a respiration mask is required to assist when weather is cold, or an external device to help to get more oxygen into the lungs? Or will use the gym belt because the back is too weak from all the seating?
Most probably the answer to those hyperbolic questions would be no. But as a gym member, what shoes to wear would surely be a question because there will be a lot of running, the incapable feet will require help and gym shoes are not "proper running shoes". Why are feet different from other parts of the body? Assuming that human beings are well capable of long distance running, the answer is no, there is no difference and no human made restriction or enhancement should be required to use unless demonstrated otherwise.
So the question about if running barefoot is healthy is a misleading one. It diverts from the main issue of humans loosing their capability to run with ease and without injury. How do we restore that capability? How can we create the preconditions to be able to run all our lives without major injuries?
It is hard to be 20+ hours with the body being on passive mode and suddenly demand it to perform. That is recipe for injury. It is not about whether barefoot is healthy or not; or if shoes will allow people to run without injury. Without a life style that promotes activation of the body at regulars intervals, no one, shod or unshod is going to be healthy. Although barefoot runners have the advantage of instant feedback and being able to react to it, it is possible too to ignore the information and carry on. Then both will fail our goal.
Is running bearfoot healthy?
Blog entry posted by Janne, Dec 14, 2019.