Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman ditched his trainers and started running barefoot. His research shows that barefoot runners, who tend to land on their fore-foot, generate less impact shock than runners in sports shoes who land heel first. This makes barefoot running comfortable and could minimize running-related injuries.

This video is interesting to me because I was a cross-country runner and later, a long-distance runner, and I trained by running 50-60 miles per week — barefoot.

Read more here and find the original research here.


  1. #1 k8
    January 28, 2010

    I just finished, “Born to Run.” And I can’t WAIT until the two feet of snow and six inches of ice melts so I can try it out!

  2. #2 Amazona farinosa farinosa
    January 29, 2010

    I’ve been running shoeless for a little over 2.5 years (and trail hiking a bit longer). I didn’t do any recreational running before then, aside from team soccer 25 years ago. My physical activity pursuits simply included everything but running. I hated it in school – shin splints and the regular litany of running injuries.

    But that all worked to my advantage when I decided to try running again. I didn’t have to unlearn any bad habits incurred by those squishy, foot-wallowing abominations called running shoes.

    People are always asking me how I can possibly run without shoes. Frankly, I can’t fathom how others run with shoes. Or at least what are considered “normal” running kit. I do have some Vibrams and a pair of home-made huaraches for the rare instances that conditions dictate.

    The fact that our modern Western culture needed to use science to “discover” the benefits of simply doing what we as a species are evolutionarily adapted speaks to how truly pathetic our culture can sometimes be. The consumer market driven meme sure has a funny way of perverting even the most instinctive abilities we possess.

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