Tuesday, October 13, 2009
To shod or not to shod.
It's not all hugs and fudgesicles here at the Fitness Nerd central compound. Sometimes, it gets a little ugly. Yesterday, for example, Steve ran a review on his Straight Dope blog of the barefoot running manifesto Born to Run and, in a subsequent conversation, confided in me that he's leaning more and more towards barefoot running.
Currently, I'm on the other side of the jogging track. Regular Fitness Nerd readers know that I like my toes naked as much as the next guy, but a recent back injury has caused me to reconsider. Basically, the only things keeping my active life from morphing into a spine-jarring painfest are my Superfeet and a couple trusty pairs of Nikes.
Ultimately, as we all learned yesterday, there's probably a balance between the two, but the zeal with which many barefooters write off the shoe industry cheeses me off a little. If you look at the video in Steve's review, you'll see that, as Caballo Blanco waffles on about barefoot running, he's jogging on grass, which basically transfers shock absorption from the shoe to the ground. That's great and all, but some of us don't have access to lush, green meadows upon which to frolic. Sure, indigenous peoples did fine barefoot, but they also didn't have to deal with the repetitive, spine-pounding stress of traversing miles of concrete.
Granted, I need to reserve judgment until I steal Steve's copy of Born to Run, but I'm pretty grateful to the jogging industry right now for helping me cope with my pinched nerve, so it'll need to be pretty compelling.