Barefoot running and its interpretation by the media

by admin on March 5, 2010


There has been a lot of recent attention given by the media to barefoot running. Recent publications by Kerrigan et al and Liebermann et al have been widely promoted in the news media and on running barefoot websites. Both studies have been badly interpreted and misrepresented by the media and barefoot running websites as showing something that they did not show. Liebermann even went to the extraordinary step of posting a disclaimer on his website about how his research was being used! See these two analyses on Podiatry Arena: Barefoot Running Debate and The Effect of Running Shoes on Lower Extremity Joint Torques and these two from an anti-barefoot running website: Hook, Line and Sinker and Yet another study they fell for!

Despite claims made by the barefoot running community, there is no evidence that running shoes do any harm. There is also not any evidence yet that running shoes do any good either. There is also no evidence that barefoot running is any better than shod running. Barefoot runners also appear to be somewhat irrational in the way they involve themselves in discussions of barefoot running, having been compared to zealots! For more, see these videos on barefoot running.

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