It is hard to avoid the barefoot running debate especially after digging into all I could on the Vibram Five Fingers. I have looked at it closely to consider if I should be doing it or not. It does appear to have some merit, but I can help be put off by all the nonsense and spin coming from the barefoot runners. I read Barefoot Running is Bad and as a scientist was absolutely amazed at the way a lot of barefoot runners make so many dubious claims about what they are doing. This does not mean that barefoot is bad, it means the claims being made for it do not stack up to scrutiny.

For example, one of the claims was that running shoes weaken muscles. I just started running again and wearing running shoes. As I just started running again, my “running” muscles will be getting stronger, so how can the running shoes be weakening my muscles? It just does not make sense (I read about this on a podiatry forum: Do running shoes weaken muscles?).

I also can’t help but notice what appears to be a massive amount of injuries occurring in those going barefoot. Every barefoot forum I looked at there is all these barefooters asking for advice about what to do for the injury they have. The claims are that barefoot running is supposed to prevent injuries. Looks to be the opposite to me.

I am concerned about what looks like an almost religious fanaticism coming from some on the barefoot running forums. Despite all the nonsense that is said about it, I am intrigued enough to try and transition to do a few shorter runs barefoot. The different running form may just help the sore back.

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