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Navel-Gazing

Secrets of the Five Toes.


We were once the greatest endurance runners on earth. We didn’t have fangs, claws, strength or speed, but the springiness of our legs and our unrivaled ability to cool our bodies by sweating rather than panting enabled humans to chase prey until it dropped from heat exhaustion. Some speculate that collaboration on such hunts led to language, then shared technology. Running arguably made us the masters of the world. So how did one of our greatest strengths become such a liability?

From recently in the NYT, Christopher McDougall makes the case for barefoot and minimalist running. YMMV of course, but at least for me, I’ve felt less injury prone since making the switch a few months ago. “‘Barefoot-style’ shoes are now a $1.7 billion industry. But simply putting something different on your feet doesn’t make you a gliding Tarahumara. The ‘one best way’ isn’t about footwear. It’s about form. Learn to run gently, and you can wear anything. Fail to do so, and no shoe — or lack of shoe — will make a difference.

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