In the clamour raised by the barefoot running community– and its opponents– hard facts are few and far between. That’s why I found this article, written by a local running shoe specialist, so refreshing.
Bull manages a running shoe store– we can’t overlook that. He has a financial stake in the debate over minimalism. Perhaps that’s why the tone of his polemic is, well, so polemical. If one can read with a critical eye, however, he offers several well-reasoned refutations for minimalist arguments.
For example, Abebe Bikila, posterboy of the barefoot running movement, is world famous for running the Olympic marathon barefoot; what most people don’t know is that running barefoot was an accident, and he later performed better while wearing shoes.
Another oft-cited argument is that when running fever hit America in the 70′s, most runners ran just fine in shoes without built-up heels and medial posts. But this fails to take into account that the typical runner today is less biomechanically efficient (i.e. fatter) than back then. This argument is not, as Bull says, “comparing apples to apples.”Share on Facebook