Friday, November 20, 2009

The Current

On Monday May 11, the CBC radio show The Current did a show on barefoot running. They had emailed me about being on the show, but by the time I got back to them, they had made other arrangements. I though it was good that the show brought up the topic of barefoot running and had Chris McDougall on to talk about his book and experiences. However, I didn’t see the point in having a normally shod runner giving a report on running barefoot. He would have to build up gradually to any significant running distance barefoot. If he gave a report after several months of going barefoot, then he might have something worth saying. You can’t just start running barefoot after wearing shoes all your life and expect you will be like someone who has never worn shoes. A lot of damage has been done and it will take time to correct. The younger you are when you do this the better. Best of all would be if we never put them on in the first place. Our shoes have deformed our feet, numbed our senses, and weakened our joints and muscles in our feet, not to mention the damage done further up the body.

But I digress…

In the next part of the show they had an interview with John Stanton. They introduced him with this. “He is founder and CEO of The Running Room. It has grown into a Canadian chain of nearly 100 retail stores that sell running shoes and gear.” Unlike Chris McDougall who doesn’t make any money from people running barefoot, John makes his profits from people buying shoes! People have bad running form, injuries and foot problems because they have been wearing shoes. John is saying these are just natural differences in runners that require different shoes to overcome. I feel this idea is like saying if we add some drugs to your cigarette, your emphysema will feel better. (I use cigarettes as an analogy for shoes because they both are billion-dollar industries, have fashion to blame for their over use, bad for your health and the more you use them, the more you feel you need to use them.)

More from Chris McDougall:

Born To Run
What Ruins Running
The Barefoot Marathon Runner

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