Science Friday discussion of shoes

Discussion in 'Studies & Articles about Studies' started by BarefootOakland, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. BarefootOakland

    BarefootOakland Barefooters
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    Not sure if this is the right forum, but I didn't see one concerning media coverage.

    Science Friday is one of my favorite radio shows, so I was happy to hear this one recently about shoe technology, and some discussion of barefoot running. They had a Nike shill scientist discussing shoe innovation, and, more interestingly, a biomechanist from CU Boulder named Rodger Kram who has apparently done some research on the matter.

    The overall tone was anti-barefoot running, and I was disappointed in Ira (the host) for not pushing back a little on the Nike "science", but there were still some interesting nuggets to be gleaned:

    1. A recent study has shown that running shod and barefoot have about the same power expenditure. They interpreted this as bad for barefoot, but I see it as the opposite - why pay hundreds of dollars a year for shoes that give you no advantage? Moreover, I'd like to see how the study was done - I would guess that the barefoot subjects were not used to running barefoot, and probably had poor form and muscle tone.

    2. The goal of companies like Nike seem to be to make running shoes that are as light and close-fitting as possible, i.e., as close to barefoot as possible.

    Worth listening to, even with the negative tone. After all, if you only listen to people who love barefoot running, then you run the risk of confirmation bias.
     
  2. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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  3. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    Researchers, who study midfoot landings such as above, have a poor understanding of elastic running.

    A simple demonstration shows why. When jumping up and down in place, a forefoot landing allows for elastic spring, midfoot not so much, and heel not at all.
     

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