Barefoot running has become very popular over the last decade or so. The biggest proponents of the movement believe typical running shoes are the cause of the high rates of injury among runners and may even be limiting performance. Are they right?
To answer this question, I first took a look at what the research so far is saying, which you can find examples of here, here, here, and here.
Shoes are one those mysterious and sometimes overwhelming things for runners, especially for those starting out. But even more experienced runners and coaches will are quick to listen if someone they trust has something to say about shoes.
Running footwear is really the only equipment a runner needs. Sure, shorts are useful and choosing a well fitted generally nylon pair of shorts goes a long way. As for shirts, I'm of the school that it's only needed if the weather is pretty cold (although obviously a good sports bra for women goes a long way, but I won't pretend to be qualified on that topic).
When coming into a shoe store, there are 8 major considerations a runner should keep in mind. My thanks goes to The Runner's Repair Manual by Dr. Murray F. Weisenfeld with Barbara Burr for this fabulous checklist. The book goes more in depth of course, but these are the highlights.
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