… it’s hard to get other people, particularly journalists, to understand that the debate about running form is not a debate about bare feet. It’s encouraging that publications like the New York Times and Men’s Fitness have stories about Dr. Lieberman’s groundbreaking research on the relationship between running form and injuries (while running magazines — surprise! — do their best to ignore it), but they continue to repeat the same misconception that it’s ultimately some kind of death match between bare feet and footwear. The goal isn’t to run barefoot — the goal is to learn how to run lightly and safely. Taking off your shoes removes a big layer of interference and makes it easier to learn good form, but it’s just the path — it’s not the destination.
So when Men’s Fitness writes this…
Unfortunately, as the authors of the new study are quick to point out, none of the Harvard runners were barefoot, so the study cannot address the barefoot question
…and the NY Times writes this…
This finding, the first to associate heel striking with injury, is likely to fuel the continuing and not-always civil debate about whether barefoot running is better.
…they’re missing The One Big Point, which every good-form advocate keeps repeating and which has been on my website for a looong time. And it’s this:
But ultimately, the debate isn’t about Bare Soles vs. Shoes. It’s about learning to run gently. Master that, and you can wear — or not wear — anything you please.