Newton Natural Running Panel 2010

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Barefoot TJ, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I know.  That's why we need a

    I know. That's why we need a volunteer committee of individuals dedicated to make this happen. I am completely strapped for time as it is, and some of the things I would like to see happen, I'm having to delegate to others or place on the back burner for now...hopefully not for long though.
     
  2. pbarker

    pbarker Barefooters
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    I sent out the following to

    I sent out the following to three local running shoe stores. Two replied back saying thanks, one was silent. Two out of three is better then I expected.



    TJ I know this is not the warning pamphlet you had in mind but if a retailer actually watches the videos many of the basic BFR facts will come through.

    Here is one of the responses.

    "We have followed the trend very closely and are always looking for scientific, fact based opinions on these matters. Thanks for the links!"



    This is the email I sent.



    Over the past 2 years I have become interested in natural running. I wanted to bring to your attention a running forum that took place in Aug of this year. It was meant for retailers who were interested in understanding the growing movement in natural running and the minimal shoes now coming to the market.



    I have no affiliation with Newton but believe the information presented during the forum would be helpful in educating retailers in many aspects of natural running.



    The following are links to the videos.



    Panel discussion on natural running with



    Dr. Irene Davis PhD, PT (Director of the Running Injury Lab, University of Delaware),

    Dr. Mark Cucuzzella MD (Associate Professor, University of West Virginia, elite masters runner),

    Danny Abshire (multisports.com form coach, co-founder Newton Running),

    Zola Budd Pieterse (Olympian, world champion and world record holder),

    Danny Dreyer (founder/author of Chi Running),

    Jay Dicharry, MPT, CSCS (Director of the SPEED Performance Clinic and the Motion Analysis Lab Coordinator at the University of Virginia).

    Moderated by Brian Metzler, managing editor Running Times Magazine.
     
  3. Last Place Jason

    Last Place Jason Barefooters
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    I'm working with a specific

    I'm working with a specific manufacturer to develop several tools to educate people... it's going to be some very good stuff. Unfortunately my work with them precludes me from doing the same for other manufacturers. However, I do know that at least one other manufacturer is in the process of developing educational materials of a different type... exactly type kind of stuff we're talking about here.

    The new kids on the block learned from the mistakes others made. The result is a more cautious approach in the way of providing some degree of education.
     

  4. ewheeldrive

    ewheeldrive Barefooters
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    I think the approach from the

    I think the approach from the majority of shoe manufacturers to jump on the minimalist bandwagon is typical. Most, not all, are really just concerned about the share of the market they might be missing, as opposed to offering a better alternative to the mess they've created, ie over-built sponge boats. When "x" started making a more cushioned shoe, "y" and "z" jumped in and did it bigger and supposedly better, with no proven benefits. This only perpetuated the running injury epidemic until someone went out on a limb and reverted to our roots. The only chance we stand for success in this minimalist or barefoot direction, is that the consumer will ultimately make to call. It seems that manufacturers have been reluctant to offer what most of us really want, less. They are still trying to revert to some of their old ideals, heel to toe drop, minor support, bells and whistles. The squeeky and informed wheel will get the grease. The one's of us making efforts with local running stores and working with shoe companies will determine the direction of future footwear. Without our effort, they'll just keep putting out the crap they think we want.
     
  5. stomper

    stomper Guest

    TJ, LPJ, et al..You talk

    TJ, LPJ, et al..

    You talk about a potential rash of injuries associated with minimal shoes. Can you explain a bit more how this would happen, and why (I think this is a corollary) it's not so likely to happen with true barefoot running? What's the mechanism by which all these injuries would occur?

    I think there is a possible risk to runners here too, but I think it might be useful to spell out as clearly as possible the way these negative effects might occur. If there really was a warning pamphlet, what would it say???

    Is this it?

    Dear Runner:

    1) If you are accustomed to traditional running shoes, please work these minimal running shoes into your routine slowly.

    2) Minimal running shoes may provide pleasing new sensations and contact with the ground, but they still limit feedback. They may not limit activity the way that sensitive bare soles do. For some people they may limit sensitivity enough that you may retain some bad habits, like heel striking.

    3) If you do lots of miles in these shoes too soon, you may get new overuse injuries because your body has not yet adapted to your new posture, the lack of padded heels, etc.

    4) Hey has anyone accused you of "gorilla feet" yet?

    Sincerely, your barefoot friends.



    Can you guys improve on this?
     
  6. pbarker

    pbarker Barefooters
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    ewheeldrive wrote: The one's



    I like the grass roots stuff. I think the companies that will get up to speed the quickest will be the ones watching the purists in the movement. We still buy shoes but they have to be better then 99% of what is out there.
     
  7. Last Place Jason

    Last Place Jason Barefooters
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    pbarker wrote: I like the



    Some are listening. ;-)
     

  8. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    You talk about a potential

    You talk about a potential rash of injuries associated with minimal shoes. Potential is not the word, IMO. We have been seeing this trend mostly for the past two years, and with more and more people jumping on the bandwagon, and more and more shoe companies making minimalist footwear, we're going to see an epidemic of sorts unfold before our very eyes. And of course, at first, they will blame barefoot running, for some reason, they can't differentiate the two. And although it does happen to new barefoot runners as well, it doesn't seem to happen as often as it does to new minimalist runners. I believe the reason for this is because barefooted runners do not have a perceived barrier of protection, a "comfort zone," as the shod runners do. Instinctly, we step lighter, and as well, most of us stop heel striking when barefoot. Barefoot runners receive instant feedback from their movements and the terrain. Barefoot runners feel their steps, and that feeling limits (not prevents) their ability to do too much too soon.


    Can you explain a bit more how this would happen, and why... This happens because people are over zealous and excited to learn that it's possible to run without the pain and injuries they have been dealing with that are associated with the types of footwear they have been running in. (For those of you who switched to BFR after dealing with injuries, you remember how you felt early on when you began to run without the pain from shoes, when your reocurring pain never seemed to want to go away but went away when you shed the shoes, for some of you, immediately. These new minimalist runners will be just as enthusiastic as we were/are.)


    (I think this is a corollary) it's not so likely to happen with true barefoot running? Of course it can happen in barefoot running. Just because we are barefoot doesn't mean that we are immune to injuries; rather, our injuries are just not caused by the shoes we run in. We can't put a warning pamphlet on bare feet, because they are free, but we can put pamphlets on shoes.


    What's the mechanism by which all these injuries would occur? Ignorance. The BRS is doing its best to educate new barefoot and minimalist runners on the risks associated with too much too soon.


    I think there is a possible risk to runners here too, but I think it might be useful to spell out as clearly as possible the way these negative effects might occur. If there really was a warning pamphlet, what would it say???


    Is this it?


    Dear Runner:


    1) If you are accustomed to traditional running shoes, please work these minimal running shoes into your routine slowly.


    2) Minimal running shoes may provide pleasing new sensations and contact with the ground, but they still limit feedback. They may not limit activity the way that sensitive bare soles do. For some people they may limit sensitivity enough that you may retain some bad habits, like heel striking.


    3) If you do lots of miles in these shoes too soon, you may get new overuse injuries because your body has not yet adapted to your new posture, the lack of padded heels, etc.


    Sincerely, your barefoot friends.


    This is exactly what I am talking about. A warning inserted into each box of minimalist and reduced running shoes advising the consumer to take it slow and easy, to not expect to be able to jump into a different type of footwear (or barefoot, for that matter), and expect to be able to run the same distances, the same number of days per week, the same speed, etc., right off the bat without also expecting some type of injury to come along with it.


    Can you guys improve on this? You're always very good at this sort of stuff Stomper. I think the shoe manufacturers should also add some resources for the new minimalist runners to go to that would offer info on proper form, info on a beginner's program (a.k.a., Jason's or similar), such as Ken Bob's site, this site, and Ted's sites, advise them to walk around barefoot or in their new minimal shoes for a few weeks prior to beginning to run in them (since we all know that it's not just the plantar skin that has to be conditioned, but also the musculoskeletal system as well; since these people have been running in shoes with 1 to 1-1/2 inch heels, etc., and their connective tissue has shrunk by that same amount, and it takes time to relengthen it safely).
     
  9. ajb422

    ajb422 Barefooters
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     While I do think the pamplet

    While I do think the pamplet is a great idea, and honestly the manufactures probably have a moral if not legal obligation to help their consumers use their product safely, I bet it won't make a bit of difference in the amount of injuries.

    Sales people at shoe stores already know you have to be careful and warn people and not many people listen. People just hate having to go slow into something. I think the odds are good that people looking into minimalist running are already doing a ton of miles and won't want to cut back (I include myself here). Then add that they just paid 85+ dollars for their cool new toy and they aren't going to want to put their normal running shoes back on.
     
  10. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    PB, that's a huge start.  We

    PB, that's a huge start. We need more involvement though on a wide-scale basis, and it will involve educating the shoe manufacturers, the shoes stores, the shoe store clerks, and the consumers. Jason's BRU can be poised to do just that...just an idea Jason, I'm talking wide-scale here. Of course the BRS will be at your side.

    AJB, if I thought that all the many conversations I have had (hundreds if not thousands, if you count my post count at RW and here) advising new barefoot and minimalist runners on practicing safe running were falling on deaf ears, I surely would not have had the desire to start the BRS. If I thought that was the case, that we could not affect change, that we could not make a difference, I surely wouldn't spend the energy here trying to do so. There would not be a minimalist running movement without a barefoot running movement, and there wouldn't be either if it weren't for the constant education of the public by members in the barefoot and minimalist running community, such as Ken Bob, Ted, Christopher, Jason, Lieberman, Davis, Sandler, and the many folks here at the BRS. ;-)

    Sales people at shoe stores already know you have to be careful and warn people and not many people listen. I don't believe the majority of the shoe sales clerks out there know this or care to relay it...yet. I hope that we (all of us) can change that.

    People just hate having to go slow into something. I think the odds are good that people looking into minimalist running are already doing a ton of miles and won't want to cut back. So true, and that's why it's even more important to get the word out. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Same thinking applies here. Some horses will drink it though, and that can only be good for both MR and BFR.
     
  11. ajb422

    ajb422 Barefooters
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    Oh I didn't mean not to try

    Oh I didn't mean not to try and educate people. I always think the looks I get when I repeat the stuff I read on LPJ's sticky funny. It always surprises people how slow you really should go. The comment about sales people were just from the couple of people who I talked to when I tried on VFFs at two different stores. They were both very happy to know if I did buy them I wasn't going to be back in a few weeks yelling at them even after I was warned. Sorry for my pessimistic post. See three days off running and this is what I become ;-)

    I'm sooo appreciative for this site. I know I would of totally screwed myself over without reading all the awesome information you guys have here.
     
  12. stomper

    stomper Guest

     TJ, so glad I got you going

    TJ, so glad I got you going on that topic. Now what would you say if we got a few drinks in you, hmm...Anyway, to be serious, I think we (as in the barefoot and minimalist runners at the BRS) have found a way we can contribute here. There is a way that we can try to contribute to what's going on and hopefully help some people.

    It's this: educate everyone about the difference between barefoot and minimal. We should be very good at this, because we are the people that know both.

    If you listen to the Newton Natural Running Panel (I've gotten through most of it on the bus) it pretty much seems that they have bought most of the message about traditional running shoes, and the negative effects of isolating one's body from the ground that way while running.

    That panel was ALL about running in a barefoot style and listening to your body. The panelists state it numerous times.

    The place where our opinions seem to be deviating from theirs is on the assumption of "barefoot=minimalist". They seem to be assuming that a minimalist shoe can provide essentially the same experience as being barefoot, at least in terms of helping you find a better form, because the minimalist shoes certainly allow more sensory input that TRSs.

    However, here on this thread we are saying, minimalist shoes do not provide an equivalent experience. While they may be great products that even barefoot purists use at times, understand for some people they block sensation enough to encourage TMTS injuries.

    That's our conclusion based on our assembled anecdotal experience. There is no objective study, as far as I know, that compares barefoot and minimal. But if anyone would know the difference, it would be the people here on this forum.

    I'm trying to boil things down to a few short sentences here, like the text in bold above, TJ, because it's good to have talking points. When you get interviewed by a feature writer from the NY Times, you may talk for an hour, but only a few sentences are going to be quoted. So for your most important messages, it's good to have a pithy way of saying each one.

    We need a little essay, "Barefoot or Minimal?" that really makes a fair compare and contrast of each one.

    Unfortunately I can't write that one because I just couldn't be fair. :evil:
     
  13. stomper

    stomper Guest

     ps- asking for the text of

    ps- asking for the text of the "warning brochure" was sort of an exercise. Personally it's hard for me to imagine a shoe company in reality placing a warning label or including a warning brochure with their product. However, in reality people like us can agitate and educate on our own, and in this internet age, can get a message out to a lot of people. In general the voice of the grassroots is very strong now and is a major countervoice to professional marketing.
     
  14. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Well's it's not like I

    Well's it's not like I haven't said it all before. And before and before and before...

    I have little retort to your post. Yes, I agree a bulleted list of advice would be preferred, but I've seen more material than that come in the first box of Vibrams I bought 2 years ago. If Vibram can do it, then the others can too. They can have the bulleted list zip-tied to the laces, and place the heartier material in the box.

    But I cannot and will not ever consider the Newton in it's present form a minimal or natural (or even reduced) running shoe. It is a TRS plain as day. I respect each and everyone of those people on that panel, including Danny Abshire, whom I appreciate so much for putting on that conference; but no one there seemed to want to admit there was a pink elephant in that room (or in this case, neon yellow), and if we can't all be on the same page about what is and what is not minimal, what is and what is not natural, we are in a world of hurt. Hopefully, the Standards will help work that out. ;-)
     
  15. stomper

    stomper Guest

     speaking of the minimal shoe

    speaking of the minimal shoe standards, TJ, it seems that very few people have taken interest in that thread about developing our own shoe standard... over in the gear forum. I thought it would create a ton of commentary.

    I was thinking maybe the lack of interest suggested we should abandon it. But you are saying it's important.

    I have a totally new tack to the minimalist shoe standard I was thinking of releasing as version 0.3. It's different than before and very short. Do you want me to put it up?

    ps my spouse's box of vibrams, bought a few months ago, contained no info on transitioning at all. Just a glossy booklet welcoming her to the "barefoot lifestyle."
     
  16. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I wasn't suggesting that my

    I wasn't suggesting that my box came with instructions for use, no; I was saying that I received a nice, full-color, shiny pamphlet about the shoe, it's characteristics, and the company. I figure if they could do that, they should be able to do this.

    The Standards idea is not dead. It's just a matter of finding the right committee of volunteers to make it happen, and of course, it needs refinement.

    Yes, please add your new version, then sticky it, but please do not delete version 2...yet. Instead, "lock" the version 2 thread, so we can keep it for comparison. Thanks.
     
  17. stomper

    stomper Guest

     ok, sometime this weekend

    ok, sometime this weekend i'll put 0.3 up.

    [edit: after ensuing discussion i will put it up sometime in the next 3-4 days. please go over to the gear forum to comment more. thnx]
     
  18. Last Place Jason

    Last Place Jason Barefooters
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    I've been doing a ton of work

    I've been doing a ton of work on the education front (http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/2010/12/11/my-decision-to-work-with-merrell/). Aside from Merrell, I've also had many conversations with other minimalist shoe manufacturers.

    Essentially, none are or will be willing to add a "warning" to the shoes... it's bad marketing. Some are working on education, which is a much safer route for the companies. The problem- too many are being overly cautious. The materials they are working on don't do an adequate job, at least in my opinion. Most of you would agree with me once you see the results.

    Merrell was the one company that really took the education ball and ran with it- they are doing exactly what we're talking about here. Vibram seriously dropped the ball and is paying for it (return rates in the ballpark of 8X the industry standard). This is the same reason Abhsire organized that conference and wrote his book- it's an attempt to educate which will ultimately help Newton.

    I really believe Merrell's efforts will force every other minimalist shoe company to follow suit. I think this is the best way to influence the industry. Developing standards is good, but the manufacturers are well aware of the qualities of a good minimalist shoe... most just aren't willing to go all-in. New Balance is a perfect example. Their Minimus Trails are damn near perfect... except for the 4mm heel. That shoe could have been the game-changer for the industry, but they took the safe route. My affinity for Merrell stems from the fact that they were willing to go all-in AND develop the educational materials to go along with the shoes.

    I think it is good that we create a minimalist standard, but the tricky part is variability. What specific qualities work for me my not work for everyone. I think there can be some agreement (zero-drop, wide toe box). The other qualities should be determined by the use of the shoe (going off the shoes as tools philosophy). For example, the ground feel versus protection spetrum: for some situations, I like absolutely minimal protection and tons of ground feel. Other situations require more protection. Same deal with traction, warmth, and padding. Instead of standards, I think a rating system may be more appropriate.
     

  19. Barefoot TJ

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    I'm not concerned whether

    I'm not concerned whether they called it "warning" or "education" (it's the same thing in this respect), just so they do it, or Just do it.

    Developing standards is good, but the manufacturers are well aware of the qualities of a good minimalist shoe... Apparently, Newton does not, as they are still churning out a boat anchor and calling it "natural" and "minimalist" and sadly convincing the market that that is indeed what they have.

    We've been talking about categories here, breaking up the types and the levels, Jason. You can read about the proposal in the stickied thread to see how far we've come, what ideas were thrown around, where we agree and disagree, what we would like to see going forward, etc.

    About Merrell. It is very important what Merrell is doing to develop the education materials, and you are the go-to person in the community when it comes to "educating" the public on proper barefoot (or healthy) running form (along with Ken Bob and Michael), so this is a very important relationship that will no doubt have an effect on other shoe manufacturers in the future...meaning we have to start somewhere, and this is a very good start. Again, I am proud of you, Jason, for being true to who you are, yet recognizing the needs of not just the barefoot runner but those who cannot (and will not) run barefoot.
     
  20. stomper

    stomper Guest

    Last Place Jason

    This is some good discussion, people, I am going to copy this bit and continue the response in the other thread... click here to go there.
     

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