Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The shoe manufacturers have taken on the role of God. They think that He made a mistake in designing man's foot, and that they are going to fix it overnight!
The most common misconception concerning style becomes immediately apparent by looking closely at a typical pair of modern running shoes. I find it impossible to find running shoes today which are not heavily padded at the heel, and which have a relatively small amount of protective material under the ball of the foot - especially under the toes.
Any athlete who has grown up wearing these shoes unfortunately comes to the conclusion that it is proper to run by striking the ground with the heel first. This assumption follows from the way the shoes are designed, but is absolutely incorrect. You will not find athletes in the Olympic Games racing on their heels in heavily-padded running "boots".
An entire generation of runners is being destroyed (and/or prevented from achieving their full potential) because of having to run in shoes which make correct technique impossible. This undoubtedly contributes to the millions of injuries which keep millions of runners from training fully every year.
Caleb Westfall, of Waikoloa, Hawaii, completed the Big Island Marathon on 31-inch stilts in a mind-stultifying time of 7 hours 37 minutes and 11 second, knocking 52 minutes off the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest marathon on a pair of gravity-defying peg legs. It's difficult to ascertain what kind of running shoes Caleb was wearing when he completed the Big Island Marathon in Hawaii, but his 31-inch high stilts definitely had flat, heel-less bottoms-- the ideal solution for barefoot-style running...at least for the stilted set looking to go vertical.