Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Barefoot Running - even more vid analysis sources

ResearchBlogging.orgIn case you were curious, here's some nice fine comparison work of barefoot and not foot striking. B2D readers know there have been many of us here for awhile, celebrating foot freedom with minimal footwear, or goodness, naked feet, (see the entire index of articles on same).

Some of us have been just waiting for the moment when barefooting or vff'ing would make it through to the mainstream. THis seems to have happened recently on the cover of nature, with DE Lieberman's research in praise of the unshod. The formal article title is "Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners" The abstract reads:

Humans have engaged in endurance running for millions of years1, but the modern running shoe was not invented until the 1970s. For most of human evolutionary history, runners were either barefoot or wore minimal footwear such as sandals or moccasins with smaller heels and little cushioning relative to modern running shoes. We wondered how runners coped with the impact caused by the foot colliding with the ground before the invention of the modern shoe. Here we show that habitually barefoot endurance runners often land on the fore-foot (fore-foot strike) before bringing down the heel, but they sometimes land with a flat foot (mid-foot strike) or, less often, on the heel (rear-foot strike). In contrast, habitually shod runners mostly rear-foot strike, facilitated by the elevated and cushioned heel of the modern running shoe. Kinematic and kinetic analyses show that even on hard surfaces, barefoot runners who fore-foot strike generate smaller collision forces than shod rear-foot strikers. This difference results primarily from a more plantarflexed foot at landing and more ankle compliance during impact, decreasing the effective mass of the body that collides with the ground. Fore-foot- and mid-foot-strike gaits were probably more common when humans ran barefoot or in minimal shoes, and may protect the feet and lower limbs from some of the impact-related injuries now experienced by a high percentage of runners.

As this work was covered broadly by the media, i haven't jumped in (just quietly celebrating ahead of the curveness), but wanted to foreground an associated resource that b2d reader Robert Cowham forwarded today, followed by one that's on the main vibram fivefingers page now. Enjoy.

Related Posts

Lieberman, D., Venkadesan, M., Werbel, W., Daoud, A., D’Andrea, S., Davis, I., Mang’Eni, R., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2010). Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners Nature, 463 (7280), 531-535 DOI: 10.1038/nature08723


kamal singh said...

Hey MC,

I have been a long time suffer of that term PFPS. Whenever, I have tried to get into any form of distance running i.e. start to do it regularly and mileage increases - the pain comes back.
I have been thru the gamut of diagnoses and therapies for - weak VMO, weak glute medius so unable to stabilise the hip, collapsing arches etc frustrating etc. Nothing has helped.
So maybe I will try out the minimal shoe thing this time - unfortunately VFF have not appeared in India yet and I am not repeat not running completely barefoot even if I run in a park. I have gone and bought myself canvas shoes with flat thin rubber soles. I shall soon start running in them and see what happens.


mc said...

Hi Kamal
while footwear may be a contributor to your experience,

You might also want to consider getting a formal movement assessment.
If there isn't an FMS, CK-FMS or Z-Health trainer in your neighborhood, i do consults via webcam/skype


Girevik_X said...

Great video of the "Barefoot Professor"!

Thanks MC!

Jim Lane


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