Running Barefoot: Like humans have for thousands of years

[caption id="attachment_250" align="alignleft" width="255" caption="Tarahumara runner Arnulfo Quimare runs alongside ultra-runner Scott Jurek in Mexico\'s Copper Canyons"]Tarahumara runner Arnulfo Quimare runs alongside ultra-runner Scott Jurek in Mexico's Copper Canyons[/caption]

When early humans began running on the plains of Africa thousands of years ago they didn't have shoes. In an article taken from his new book Born to Run, Christopher McDougall takes a skeptical look at the purported benefits of highly cushioned running shoes.

Christopher compares the foot health of people in high-tech running shoes with those of the Tarahumara indians of Mexico who "run with only strips of old tyre or leather thongs strapped to the bottom of their feet". The conclusion is surprising to many (especially to shoe manufacturers). Barefoot running strengthened feet and led to fewer injuries.

Still skeptical? One of the anecdotes Christopher relates is how Nike research on barefoot runners at Stanford led to the invention of the Nike Free, a shoe whose marketing tag line is 'Run Barefoot'.

Check out this article on the evolution of running capability in modern man.

(h/t Neal at CrossFit Boston)