Lately, I have actually seen a couple of people running…yes: running on concrete with these …. hold on, what are they anyway? do they qualify as shoes or as gloves? …. things ….. and honestly could not bear the view. It looked very painful, and by judging the faces of the mostly slightly overweight people they were in muuuuuuch bigger pain than I was. Still, I could not hold back the odd: hey, dude, why are you doing this to yourself? or man, it s just not right. But then again, it’s up to everybody what they do with their health.
As Simon Cowell would say: No.
Just don’t do it. Barefoot running is not for westerners. If you grow up in rural Kenya or Ethiopia with no concrete roads and barely no shoes, yes, you can and you will run barefoot because your bone and muscle structure in your feet is totally different than Westerners. but please not in the Lakes.
I took these events as inspiration on how to go about the right choice of running shoe for the right situation:
1. long easy runs
a well cushioned, heel supported, well structured and engineered running shoe is the right choice here to minimize the wear and tear on the muscles, bones and joints.
2. long tempo runs
now if you up the tempo for consistent high end pace over a longer period of time, of course you want something a little bit faster with still some cushioning and support minus a bit of weight. also the drop should not be minimal, it has to be sizeable so that you still kind of minimize the wear and tear on the body
Racing/ high end interval training shoe
when racing or doing high end interval km’s or sprint work on the treadmill, you want the lightest shoe possible to be one with the surface you are running on. The so called wafers or flats are only to be used for racing and select high end work outs as they offer no cushioning or whatsoever. The impact on joints, bones and muscles is very high. Also a good running technique is necessary in order to run properly in these shoes to get the best out of it. Furthermore, wafers or flats should not be worn by people over a certain weight as the impact will be even bigger and the risk of injury therefore very high.
Out of all my running sessions every week, I use ca. 45-50% the well cushioned shoe, 25% the medium cushioned shoe and the other 25-30% the race flat.
enjoy your run. 😉