|Here they are..the latest trend in |
running shoe. While the philosophy
behind them may be sane....the
design of them leaves me speechless.
|I always imagine the wearer of this shoe|
to have the ability to rock back and
forth on the spot without
falling over...kinda like a Weeble.
|If you could keep these babies on your|
foot, I give you great credit. I was
just exhausted by the end of the day.
|It was hard finding a pic of these|
beauties. As hideous as they
were, they will always hold a
special place inside my heart.
First of all...there is no academic (conclusive) research to suggest that the supportive shoe (the ones we know and love that offer support, padding, etc.) is effective and reducing exercise injuries. In fact, the supportive shoe, according to most podiatrists, has been accused of making our feet lazy. Wearing a shoe that offers such support leads to atrophy (muscle weakening) of the muscles in the feet. We become addicted to these shoes like one becomes addicted to a knee or back brace. Interesting. As a kinesiologist, I've always believed that runners and exercisers alike must build and balance the muscles in the legs to become stronger than the demand placed on them through activity....now it's official.
There is a debate going on right now between two camps of researchers; those that believe in the effectiveness of barefoot running and those that are opposed. After taking into considering both sides, here's what I think..... Barefoot running trains and strengthens the muscles of the feet unlike the supportive shoe and also promotes a more effective running gait and foot strike. Runners are now focused on the forefoot strike versus the heel strike. In addition, according to the "pro" camp, barefoot running shoes influence gait so that the runner takes smaller steps and becomes more efficient. Neet. Basically, the barefoot shoe provides only a safety shield between the foot and the concrete and that's it.
|Now they come with fuzz. |
Seriously, if no one else
bought these shoes...do you think
anyone else would?? Never
underestimate the power of
Both sides have some great points. While barefoot running may prove more effective and efficient, the general public will rush out and buy them, slip them on, and start running without any consideration for preventative exercises like resistance training and stretching. In other words, the shoes alone will not reduce injuries...the runner is responsible for that. No matter how technologically advanced a shoe is or what promises it makes, it all boils down to user responsibility. We must be sure to stretch, to strengthen, to rest, and to exercise correctly. If not, there is no ugly shoe in the world that will save us from ourselves.
That's all I got for now....except this picture of a plyometric training shoe (Remember Seinfeld? Kramer wore them for an entire episode...I won't get into the storyline there as it lends itself to the politically incorrect).
|Saving the best for last. At least this didn't become such a trend we saw everyone walking around in these.|