Cornwall Coast Path/photo courtesy of

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Ditching your cushioned shoes...

I passed a runner on my travels today - he had obviously read 'Born to Run' as he was wearing 5fingers and a 'camelback' backpack and looked like he had really embraced the whole 'minimalist' philosophy and was obviously out for a long 'ultra' type run.

That was all very nice and commendable - trouble is that he was heel striking like a good 'un! So severely poor was the technique that there wasn't any need for a slow motion replay for confirmation and I nearly fell off my bike with the horror of it all!

This is real cause for concern - if you are a heel striker then you either need a cushioned shoe to help dampen the shock or you need to learn correct running biomechanics so that you land nice and gently on the balls of your feet.

It's no good just throwing your trainers away and sticking a pair of five fingers, they are not a magic ticket to the promised land - in fact Mr FiveFinger Heelstriker will be doing himself some major damage if he carries on like that.

FiveFingers and other minimalist shoes have a pretty thick heel which doesn't allow for adequate proprioception - so remember, even if you think you've cured your life-long heel striking habits, it's really worth having your technique analysed by a qualified barefoot coach to avoid unnecessary injury - to yourself and to me, as falling off my bike at high speed is no laughing matter!

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