Guess who doesn’t like barefoot running

Plenty of people think barefoot running is crazy, but I haven’t heard a lot of arguments against. As reported in my Barefoot Smackdown post, the strongest negative seems to be that you could cut your foot. A little more extensive research suggests, however that there are a number of people out there that are down right anti-barefoot. Why? Follow the money.

Most blatant, check out this very targeted site  runningbarefootisbad.com. I have no idea what axe they are grinding taking positions like “I am talking about those who use the “philosophy” of “barefoot running” and try to impose it on others. Someone has to keep them accountable for the nonsensical unscientific mumbo jumbo that they espouse”  There my be some principle involved but it looks to me like a commercial venture with lots of advertising for, guess what, running shoes.

Conceivably, New Balance is deeply concerned with our health when they suggest in a recent statement, “it’s hard to fathom running through a dirty city, along the river in the cold, or even in a twig and stone-ridden forest without some sort of shoe for protection.” But it’s possible that in the face of all the good press barefoot racing is getting, the shoe guys are getting concerned about how it it could impact shoe sales.

Brooks CEO Jim Weber is subtler claiming in a late January blog that there are certain people who are “biomechanically blessed,” and that for them, barefoot running is OK. For the rest of us, Jimbo tells us, “We strongly believe most of our mileage should be logged in a performance running shoe, not barefoot.” Roadrunner Sports too, is worried about “pea sized rocks just waiting to take a big bite our of your foot,” and sidewalks strewn with “dozens of glass shards.”

Barefoot Jason takes all this very personally and it bums him out. Understandable as he is quite vested in this sport. To me it’s funny and perhaps heartening, in a way, that these guys all see barefoot running as being such a threat.

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