From shoe to foot: Barefoot running

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    Mar 5, 2010
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    From shoe to foot: Barefoot running

    By Martin Daumer

    Article in GERMAN attached...

    About 10 years ago the running shoe market turned euphoric: Natural Running was the new trend, at the same time it was the counterdraft of the previous running shoe concepts. But soon it showed that many runners were overwhelmed with the new shoes. But does this contradict the concept of the shoes? Martin Daumer, a convinced “minimalistic” runner, dealt with the topic on a scientific level.

    Martin Daumer

    For more than 20 years the sports shoe industry has gone into cushioning and pronation with constantly new technologies and shoe constructions. The aim was to reduce the injury rate through improved stability and control by the shoe and better cushioning. But it increasingly became apparent at the end of the last decade that there is no scientific proof for that. Very elaborated sole designs with strong heel lifts were even under suspicion to harm the foot instead of protecting it.

    The first successfully introduced counterdraft to this concept was Nike Free, launched in 2004, that allowed the foot full range of motion, but that also demanded more from the muscles. The success brought the other producers to the scene, so that soon it could be considered a trend. Running was supposed to be more natural, better, injury-free with these shoes, that all had a flat, flexible sole. And shoes went on sale that are little more than a slipcover for the foot. The initial elation soon slowed down with the first reports on overloading damages caused by the shoes.

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