All you need is feet

“We have this idea now that all you need to run is a pair of shoes. It’s a common statement, right? Well, it turns out that’s not true. You don’t need shoes. All you need is feet.”

I’ve been researching barefoot running as one way of improving my form. Much of my reading, references Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, which I have yet to read.But there are also a lot of references to the research done on barefoot running by Daniel Lieberman of Harvard.

His hypothesis is that humans evolved over two million years ago to run barefoot when the African forests gave way to the savannahs. Much of the research he’s done seems to support this hypothesis, showing that a forefoot strike—which is much more common among barefoot runners—generates less impact than a heel strike.

The video is a great place to start getting an understanding of how barefoot running could help contribute to an improved running form. The Nature paper he coauthoured is also fascinating, but is much more technical. I had to get to grips with a lot of vocabulary that I hadn’t encountered since studying biology in college.