Response to an article on the Running Shoe Debate

1 Comment December 13, 2009 / Posted in Mindful Running


The Running Shoe Debate: How Barefoot Runners are Shaping the Shoe Industry

By Tyghe Trimble in April 22, 2009 edition of Popular Mechanics

Debate is taking a stance that one’s ideas are correct and the other side’s are wrong. Discussion comes from the same derivation at concussion and percussion: A hitting up against. In a discussion one is attempting to persuade the other side that their position is wrong and they need to change their mind. Often both sides agree to disagree.

In a dialogue one shares their assumptions and makes visible what was invisible regarding one’s position. Discussions create a cycle of waste. Dialogues can create a cycle of value where a side has a thesis and the other side their anti-thesis; and together being open to possibilities they create a synthesis that takes both sides beyond where their perceptions were stuck and into new areas of possibilities.

My theory holds that between the age of 3 and 10 we were running so fast we lost our balance and fell forward ripping skin from knees, elbows, palm of our hands and about one out of 40 hit their chin and needed from 3 to 10 stitches. That one time learning experience changed the way we walk because of the fear created from that one time falling experience. For others who may not have had that fall, we are fast learners and walk the way our parents do or others who we most admire. Most people have never thought about how they run, let alone if they are walking properly or if there is a better way of walking.

I will be interested as shoe companies and barefooters dialogue (See Running Barefoot with Ken Bob, Barefoot Ted, or check out Rob Raux’s Shodless or Jessie Lee & Michael Sandler’s and we think of runners through the eyes of evolutionary biology and the work of Dan Lieberman.  We may all have something to learn by linking our neuroplasticity together with running form.  Maybe we’ll be able to attain an atavistic perspective that can teach homo-runnicus-like-hellacus how to once again run like our earliest ancestors.

In a dialogue we may return to the future where Genus homo  reclaims his/her sapiens and by running properly for long distances get over our psychosclerosis…harding of the head…that believes the way one runs can’t be further developed, corrected, and improved.

In a debate often we are speaking or getting ready to speak. In a dialogue we listen to all the other side is saying and then we speak. It is interesting that hidden within the word listen is the word: silent. Also interesting is the Greek word from which we get “Therapist” actually means: to attend or listen to. So maybe we need to listen to our feet that have been running for several million years and give them some therapy.  Maybe without shoes or a minimalist mindset regarding shoes we might be able to come up with something shoes us, shows us, and teaches us how to walk and run properly. Enter Pose Method of Running and ChiRunning and Barefoot Running. Enter a group of people like Dan Lieberman asking and then answering some questions about endurance running (ER) from an evolutionary biology perspective. What we can learn from the bones of our ancestors? For me this is where the foot bone is connected to the head bone.

And what were you thinking about on your run today?

1 Comment... What do you think? Subscribe via RSS
  1. jasonfranks said on December 14th, 2009 at 1:07 am

    I agree, forget the shoes.. either go barefoot and train in vibrams.. altho there’s a good comparison of both nike and vibrams here:

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