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Shod or Barefoot Running Debate: BORN TO RUN

Human Body Capable of Barefoot Running Long Distances

Have you ever wondered how and why humans can and did run comfortably without modern running shoes? Harvard professor of evolutionary biology Daniel Lieberman believes the human body barefoot is more capable of running long distances than any other species on Earth.

barefoot running 1Barefoot Runners Tend to Avoid Landing on The Heel

Lieberman & team tested and confirmed what many people already knew: that most experienced, habitually barefoot runners tend to avoid landing on the heel and instead land with a forefoot or midfoot strike. His published research explores the collisional mechanics of different kinds of foot strikes. Showing that most forefoot and some midfoot strikes (shod or barefoot) do not generate the sudden, large impact transients that occur when you heel strike (shod or barefoot). Consequently, runners who forefoot or midfoot strike do not need shoes with elevated cushioned heels to cope with these sudden, high transient forces that occur when you land on the ground. Therefore, barefoot and minimally shod people can run easily on the hardest surfaces in the world without discomfort from landing. If impact transient forces contribute to some forms of injury, then this style of running (shod or barefoot) might have some benefits, but that hypothesis remains to be tested.

How to Run Correctly

A barefoot runner himself, he supports the benefits of running shoeless, so long as you learn how to run correctly. In this video, Lieberman gives five pointers on how he thinks you can run long distances better and injury-free.

Barefoot Running Debate


Find out what a podiatrist Dr. Michael Perlstein, an urban caveman John Durant, Dr. Daniel Lieberman professor of evolutionary biology, a world record setting masters runner Kathy Martin, have to say about best selling author Christopher McDougall’s book BORN TO RUN and the barefoot running debate.