Dr. Lieberman Strikes Again

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by Ahcuah, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. Ahcuah

    Ahcuah Barefooters

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    739
    DanielLieberman.jpg
    Dr. Lieberman Strikes Again
    By Ahcuah

    The barefooters’ friend, Dr. Lieberman of Harvard, is part of a team with a new study out on minimalist shoe running.

    The study shows that running in minimalist shoes (and by implication running barefoot) really does strengthen the foot muscles.

    The lead researcher is Elizabeth Miller of the University of Cincinnati Department of Anthropology. The study itself is a prospective study looking at changes in the foot muscles for a group of runners who transitioned to minimalist shoes. [In a "prospective" study, you design your study and collect the data as you go, and then analyze it. In a "retrospective" study, you analyze existing data to see if you can find anything there. Obviously, from a scientific viewpoint, prospective studies are better.]

    The study is The effect of minimal shoes on arch structure and intrinsic foot muscle strength. You can go there and grab a copy yourself (it is open access). It’s been accepted for publication, but not yet published.

    Here are the result from the abstract. To continue reading, please visit http://ahcuah.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/dr-lieberman-strikes-again/#more-7600.
     
    crapnurse23, StingRey, Ahote and 3 others like this.
  2. sanfugol

    sanfugol Barefooters
    1. Florida -...

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    12
    I love the idea of the test, but WHY can't anyone ever seem to do a study with good control variables? With results as wide ranging as these it doesn't provide any valid scientific backing to the arguments that we all want to make. Being barefoot definitely helped my feet: I had flat feet my whole life, but now have a normal arch.
     
    Barefoot TJ, Ahote, Bare Lee and 2 others like this.
  3. ClintonVoris

    ClintonVoris Barefooters
    1. Indiana

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    104
    I downloaded and read the PDF. Interesting work, but he's preaching to the choir, here. :) It seems to me that testing the strength of the foot could be easily done by having an individual toe press against resistance. Now, being a BF runner, I can splay my toes easily. That requires just a little strength, (and some skill.) Having been a 'shod runner' I can assure you that shod runners don't have the ability to splay their toes. Lieberman, et al, need to develop a miniature curl machine to see how much my third metatarsal can bench press. :)
     
    dutchie53, Barefoot TJ and paulbeales like this.
  4. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,794
    Likes Received:
    3,419
    Money.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funding_of_science
     
  5. paulbeales

    paulbeales Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,761
    Likes Received:
    1,539
    I have been in contact with Dr Lieberman and offered the services of the BRS for future studies. He says he will keep us in mind.

    He said he had not heard of our group (though he has done studies with our MA Chapter in the past?)

    He also provided this response to some of the comments on his study:

    'Our study was a prospective randomized control study that took conventionally shod individuals and randomized them into one of two groups, only one of which wore minimal shoes. This is the only way to test rigorously the hypothesis that the muscles in the foot get stronger from using a minimal shoe (or presumably barefoot). So existing barefoot runners would have been useless. As for sample size, that is limited drastically by cost and time. To MRI each subject's foot before and after the experiment, and to do all the analyses of the data was an enormous, time-consuming and very expensive task. So, yes, a larger sample might have been nice, but I think we provided convincing evidence that less shoe does cause foot muscles to strengthen.'
    .
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  6. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    20,247
    Likes Received:
    6,467
    Yes, he knows who we are, and he has worked with the MA Chapter members on several occasions, especially Preston Curtis (and Ken Bob). I've even written to him myself.
     
    paulbeales likes this.
  7. Straif

    Straif Barefooters
    1. Illinois

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    103
    Without a doubt this is true, I imagine most of us recently converted barefooters can testify to this. By recently converted I mean, as an adult, seeing the virtues of going barefoot whereas perhaps not so long ago it wasn't even a thought in our minds.

    Since June, when I started going barefoot, not only I, but my girlfriend as well, have noticed that my feet have become thicker and more defined (and not as shriveled, in her words).

    I can literally stand on one foot now, for, gosh, I don't even know how long I can do it. Indefinitely I'd imagine! Before, I used to think I had good balance, but I laugh at that notion now.

    The irony, of course, is that we barefooters inherently know of all these positives, because we have lived them. But, the trick of course, is trying to convince the rest of our fellow humans to get back to their roots, and to adopt the masterful engineering [that is our natural feet] once again.
     

  8. Barefoot Ken Bob

    Barefoot Ken Bob Administrator
    1. California...

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    587
    The countering arguments, that minimalist footwear (and presumably bare feet) cause foot injuries, comes from the many people who were injured after trying minimalist footwear, believing that they would get "exactly" the same benefits as barefoot. (feedback, foot strength, and fewer injuries - without the "inconvenience of pain", or "danger" of broken glass)

    Virtually every "barefoot" runner I have talked with (after seeing them in the "boot"), injured themselves simply because they tried to do too much too soon (one was even a friend whom I had given a copy of my book - which has many explicit warnings about exactly this phenomenon - she did not bother reading it before breaking her foot). If these poor "soles" had started out actually, literally barefoot, preferably on stimulating terrain (not manicured lawns, or beach sand - as many "experts" instruct), they would have had immediate feedback from the terrain through their bare soles letting them know two very important things;
    1. Bare soles on stimulating terrain will tell you RIGHT NOW! when you should make corrections in your technique.
    2. Bare soles will let you know AFTER you finish your barefoot outing (that burning sensation on your soles) that you pushed yourself, and should let your feet rest for a day and go out much easier and shorter next time.
    Many of the minimalist beginners feel that they're feet are not ready to go barefoot, so they use minimalist footwear which allow them to do much more than their feet are ready for (without the immediate pain), and with technique that NO FEET are ready for (and again, without the pain/warning to NOT do that). Again, that pain, isn't an annoyance, it's a warning that you're probably going to injure yourself if you continue without changing your technique, and without taking time to build-up foot strength gradually. Blocking pain - and I cannot say this often enough, so here it is again - blocking the immediate pain of your soft bare soles on rough terrain is NOT doing yourself any favors. It simply allows you to gradually break down your feet without the immediate warning that you need to learn better technique, and build up gradually.

    Now, I have also heard from a few people who have had great success with minimalist footwear. I presume this is because they took the time to build those foot muscles, and hopefully even did some work on trying to improve technique. GREAT! (for you). But most people don't have that kind of patience, and if they are convinced by advertising that says they can get the "same benefits", and "reduced injuries" without the "pain" (which should read, "feedback to help improve your technique"), then of course, many obviously have BOUGHT into that fallacy (literally).

    What's really cool, is the number of people who went this route, and then for one reason or another finally did go literally barefoot, and realized that they got exponentially more feedback from bare soles, than from even the thinnest soled footwear, and that feedback gave them the information needed to make the most subtle improvements to their running technique, which they would never have been aware of in minimalist footwear. Note: Some of these subtle improvements are fine-tuned precisely for your body, that way it is shaped and works today, something nobody else can observe from the outside, or help you correct.

    One final thought - in my opinion, if you get the technique correct (easy, gentle, and efficient), foot strength isn't going to be all that important for normal daily walking and running around your neighborhood (unless you live on the side of the Himalayan Mountains or something like that). Now, of course, your foot strength will increase, as you walk and run barefoot, especially if you listen to the warnings from your bare soles telling you to walk and run gently, easily, and efficiently while increasing speed and distance gradually. And one other thing, every outing should not be more difficult than the last. 90% of our outings should leave us feeling refreshed, not beaten down!

    As evidence that perfect and strong feet are not as important as many presume, I present myself and the fact that I have been running barefoot for the past 2 and a half decades probably with a broken metatarsal, which had not healed properly (until recently) and was caused originally by twisting my ankle while wearing running shoes. More info at: http://barefootrunning.com/?p=9154
     
  9. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    20,247
    Likes Received:
    6,467
    It's sad when we have to put quotes around the word barefoot, right Ken Bob?

    This made me raff:

    Bare soles on stimulating terrain will tell you RIGHT NOW! when you should make corrections in your technique.

    Don't know why. Guess I'm just a little sadistic maybe.
     
  10. Barefoot Ken Bob

    Barefoot Ken Bob Administrator
    1. California...

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    587
    I hear also from many people, "The soles on my shoes are so thin, I can feel every single pebble under my feet."

    Being aware there is a pebble under your foot, and being reminded RIGHT NOW, not to skid, or pound your feet are two very different sensations!

    Even while drunk, you can feel the heat of a bonfire. Unfortunately, it may not be so painful that you're reminded that you shouldn't continue standing in the fire - no matter how drunk you are, you're still getting burned!

    Have fun,
    -Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton
     
    Barefoot TJ and paulbeales like this.
  11. paulbeales

    paulbeales Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,761
    Likes Received:
    1,539
    I am that man :)
    .
     
    Sid, Barefoot Ken Bob and Straif like this.
  12. Ahcuah

    Ahcuah Barefooters

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    739
    I would just like to add, and reinforce what Ken Bob is saying, that I didn't start playing tennis barefoot until after I'd been hiking barefoot (real barefoot) for something like 5 years. Tennis puts a whole different kind of stress on the feet, and unless your bones and tendons have already been strengthened I can see that it'd cause problems. I suspect if I'd started out in minshoes I would have really hurt myself.

     
    Efrem likes this.
  13. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    20,247
    Likes Received:
    6,467
    Isn't it sad when we have to put real barefoot in parenthesis?
     
    Ahcuah and Tedlet like this.
  14. sanfugol

    sanfugol Barefooters
    1. Florida -...

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    12
    I understand the concept of money and funding restricting the scale of the analysis. My point was that by controlling the variables that you can, gives greater strength to your findings.

    "They also show large error bars on the mileage during the study. For instance, with the test group, the mileage was given as 41.3 ± 13.8. If you are doing a study, doesn’t that say that nobody was following your protocol very well at all?"

    Simply keep the subjects of your study within the parameters of the study to provide greater validity and value to the results.
     
    Sid likes this.
  15. Barefoot Ken Bob

    Barefoot Ken Bob Administrator
    1. California...

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    587
    Have you ever tried to get a group of individuals to run a specific amount of mileage each week? Even if you could, then the study wouldn't be very real - if you don't allow people to run at their own level, you're going to end up with some people being bored and others injured. One of the main factors about barefoot running is the immediate feedback each individual has at their disposal to adapt how often, how far, how fast, etc., they run (or walk) so that they won't be injured as often as people who are trying to run a specific amount of miles at specific speeds, at specific intervals no matter what they feel like. And with human research there are many restrictions. After all, these subjects do have lives outside the research project. they have classes to attend, homework to do, friends to hang out with, laundry, etc..
     
  16. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,794
    Likes Received:
    3,419
    As Ahcuah pointed out, improvement was found in both groups. It's quite possible that the participants overstated their running experience, and this might account for variability.
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  17. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,794
    Likes Received:
    3,419
    More money also allows for better control of variables, housing participants on site, compensation, nutrition, childcare arrangements, etc. :D
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  18. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,794
    Likes Received:
    3,419
    I am Spartacus! erm... I am that man! :D
     
    Straif and paulbeales like this.
  19. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,794
    Likes Received:
    3,419
    I will also say that ditching the shoes and going barefoot highlighted the problems with my feet, due to shoewearing. I wasn't able to identify and rehabilitate those problems, until I took off the shoes and started running on concrete. Now, I can run on concrete just fine! :D
     
  20. sanfugol

    sanfugol Barefooters
    1. Florida -...

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    12
    I agree, you never want to discourage anyone from ANY kind of self improvement, but in this study, they tightly controlled the amount of barefoot running. So THAT should have been the only variable. Everybody runs what they are used to running to discourage any possible muscle gain/loss outside the study, and the barefoot running would then be the only difference between the groups. Now the data results are much more meaningful.
     

Share This Page