The Midfoot Strike Running Revolution is Happening
In case you missed it, there was an article in last Sunday’s NY Times about how the “barefoot running” trend is effecting the shoe industry. Actually, it’s not so much a barefoot trend as it is a current upsurge in the questioning of the running shoe company’s ability to produce a shoe that actually has any effect on running injuries. ChiRunning was named as one of the organizations helping to promote good running technique and endorsing more of a minimal shoe approach to running.
The big debate is whether or not building more cushioning and structure into running shoes has the advertised effect or if it’s just another case of corporate marketing looking for an effective way to sell shoes to an uneducated populace. Well, in answer to the first part of the debate, as we’ve seen by the percentage of runners who get injured every year, nothing has changed since running shoes for the general public began being produced in the 1970′s. If anything, the injury rate has gone up. And, in answer to the second part of the big debate, yes, it seems to have been a very good marketing ploy that sold gazillions of shoes to people thinking that they’d be safe in their running by buying the right shoe.
I’m so thankful that articles like this are starting to surface in the national media. More attention needs to be paid by the shoe industry to make shoes that fit the needs of an ever-growing population of runners who are working on changing their running form, to prevent injuries, instead of thinking that the right shoe will do the job. For ten years now ChiRunning and ChiWalking classes have been teaching runners and walkers how to run and walk pain-free, injury-free and faster. Check out our schedule of classes if you’re interested. And, while you’re there, check out the results of a West Virginia University poll done with 2500 ChiRunners which reports remarkable findings on the effectiveness of running technique improvement on injury rates.
There are a number of forward thinking shoe companies out there that are working on producing less of a shoe and that’s good news for those of us who are no longer willing to suffer through the over-built “corrective” shoes that have been the norm since the running boom started in the ’70′s. actually almost all of the running shoe companies sell shoes that are perfectly good for the midfoot striker…but many runners are scared away by the model name “racing flat.” Most racing flats have all the great attributes a midfoot runner craves: lots of flexibility in the sole, great ventilation, very minimal lift in the heel and (until the secret gets discovered by the shoe companies) a cheap price. I wear NB-790′s which cost $45 online (while the supply lasts) and which, in the past few years, have been one of the best selling running shoes NB has ever produced. But, as with all great running shoes…they’ve decided to quit producing what I’ve considered the perfect shoe. Go figure. I’m now looking at FiveFingers, Adizeros, La Sportiva, and yes, even the Nike Free for the next “ideal” shoe.
Viva la revolution!
p.s. Since the article in the NY Times came out it is the 8th most emailed article.
- midfoot strike,
- barefoot running,
- running shoes,
- running classes,