They are becoming the paleo-footwear of choice and I was initially sceptical of them as they are in danger of becoming a badge of lifestyle de rigeur. However, whilst I don't feel my athletic prowess has improved, it is surprising that a design so radical from traditional training shoes should NOT be detrimental to mobility.
There is an interesting article available here (apologies - I don't normally read the Daily Mail). I like the following question,
- "[I]f running shoes don't make you go faster and don't stop you from getting hurt, then what, exactly, are you paying for? What are the benefits of all those microchips, thrust enhancers, air cushions, torsion devices and roll bars?"
This in turn is based upon the research of Dr Craig Richards whose blog can be found here. Its content certainly gives food for thought and is well worth reading. You have got to like a guy who stands up to the $20bn running shoe industry and asks:
- "Is any shoe manufacturer prepared to claim that wearing their running shoes will improve your distance running performance?If you are prepared to make these claims, where is your peer reviewed data to back it up?Stay tuned...I have my legal team standing by!"
Hmmmm, seems to me that maybe we are not designed to run steady state at a moderately fast pace for long distances. What do you think? At least he listened to his body.
In sport and nutrition it seems to me that technological advance does not equate to progress. I am ever more inclined to live 'closer to the ground' and follow my paleo-compass.
Just as a quick update - there is an alternative to the Vibram Five Fingers range in the shape of 'FeelMax' footwear.