Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Natural Heel Strikers

Just in time for my tentative moves towards minimalism, comes news that not all barefoot runners are created equal. That is, not all native tribes that run around barefoot land on their fore-foot. Quoth Scientific American:
"The findings don’t necessarily mean that a goal of mid- or forefoot striking for recreational (shod or unshod) runners is misplaced—or that those looking for a more minimal or “natural” running form should opt for a rear-foot strike instead. The research simply shows that there appear to be more than one style of running for people who have grown up running without shoes."
Although i'm sure some people will take this as fuel to say "Shove it McDougall!" the reality is that, despite what purists say, I think all of us at RR&RS believe that people should do whatever works for them. For example, part of what's spurred my running renaissance over the last few years has been running in the Brooks Adrenaline (the prototypical stability shoe), which is diametrically opposed to the minimal trend. And that's okay! Having said that, I'm enjoying my experimentation with the Saucony Guide 5, feeling my feet and legs getting stronger, which is a good thing.


  1. I gotta agree- I wore stability nikes for years. And I do love my new minimal shipped, it makes me wonder if this is iverhyped??!

  2. Erin, i'm never an early adopter, because I feel you have to let the excitement fade away until you can make a judgement one way or another. So while I doubt i'll ever give up my stability shoes, I do like the current shoes that combine stability and minimal characteristics. More specifically, the more I run in the Guide 5s, the more convinced I am that (for me) alternating between traditional stability shoes and those with a lower heel-toe drop train my feet and lower legs to be their strongest.

    I'm curious, what are the minimal shoes you mentioned?

  3. And, its worth checking out the NYTimes recently on the same topic:

    "We don't know what is natural for human runners," the story concludes, after noting not only that different tribes run differently, but that its not even clear that changing running form causes injuries.