The Barefoot Professor Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is

posted in: Barefoot, Science, Videos | 4

Harvard professor, Daniel Lieberman, has ditched his expensive running shoes and started running barefoot. His research shows that barefoot runners, who tend to land on their forefoot, generate less impact shock to their body than runners wearing shoes who land heel first. This makes barefoot running comfortable and could minimize running-related injuries.

The Barefoot Professor: A Nature Video Production

You can find the original research here.

There’s not much that needs to be said that hasn’t been said already (read my Definitive Guide to Going Barefoot if you’re interested). This information is becoming widely available on a massive scale. I have a bookmarks folder of all the articles, videos, and research studies about the barefoot vs shoes debate that I’ve encountered online and it’s chock-full of proof that going barefoot is better (and rapidly picking up speed as a viable alternative to shod running, walking, whatever). Anybody who isn’t convinced will be swept away by the dust cloud of running, jumping, and scampering barefooters.

Read about it in The Times, The Express or Business Week.

To your health and success,

Fitness Professional

4 Responses

  1. Jeff Sifferman

    Both you and Professor Lieberman had made me research Vibram Five Fingers, along with Nike Free and New Balance running shoes. I think that running barefoot is probably the best thing you could do to avoid going to a podiatrist. It seems so healthy, and just the right thing to do. It’s unfortunate what people have done to make “great shoes that are great for your feet that provide protection as well as comfort.” I think that barefoot shoes such as the Vibram Five Fingers will be healthier not only for our feet, but also our entire body, as walking is quite an important aspect to keep in good health. I plan on going to get some Vibram KSO Trek in the next 48 hours, for both training and casual. When the Five Finger runner shoes (The Bikila) come out in the next month, I plan on using them during my track season. I’m quite excited to receive both of them, and even get the crazy looks from people.

    Thanks for being an inspiration and posting this blog!

    • No problem, Jeff. If you want me to come help you pick them out, let me know. There are some nuances to sizing that you may want to know about before you purchase.

      Let the crazy looks begin. I was nearly swarmed by a crowd of people while I was picking out vegetables at the market a couple weeks ago.

      “um excuse me sirrrrr, we’re all wondering… what are THOSE?”

  2. John Paul Tan

    I ran last year’s Toronto Marathon with Vibram Five Fingers and I definitely got a lot of looks. People were taking pictures of my feet in amazement because they never taught you can ran a marathon with it. It was a very insightful experience. The aftermath pain is limited only to my calf and foot muscles. My first marathon ran on Asics resulted in a lot of aftermath pain on my thigh. This experience comparison tells me that running on running shoes is bad for the knees because the impact is reaching all the way to your thigh.

    Vivo shoes are really nice but Nike Free Level 3 I think is a much better choice base on price. I think the cheapest Vivo has is $140 compare to Nike Free where you can buy one for less than $100.

    • Thanks for sharing that John – we need more people speaking up about how they’ve challenge the status quo. Running a marathon in FiveFingers certainly fits the bill!

      I don’t own Vivo’s because of price alone. I think it’s ludicrous to pay that much for a pair of shoes – no matter how nice. I do own a pair of Nike Free’s that I found on a clearance shelf for $30. My only complaint is the elevated heel, which encourages heel-to-toe contact when walking and running. Of course, this can be consciously controlled and avoided. I only wear them occasionally in the wintertime anyways.

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