I've been meaning to post on this topic for two days now, since I learned two days ago that I have been horribly mistaken on my shoe choices for activities. Greta over at Big-Bottom Blogger beat me to it today, with her post on barefoot running.
During Monday's Crossfit workout, I was to be finding my "max rep" for three movements: back squat, dead-lift, and military press. Before going over the movements with me, the trainer asked me to remove my shoes (I was wearing new running shoes). Not a problem, I love being barefoot. He then proceeded to tell me how running shoes are basically the devil when it comes to form, and go against the natural motion that thousands of years of evolution worked so hard to produce.
He took a section of PVC pipe, and held it upright. He said, "ok, imagine this pipe is your heel/knee/hip all in alignment." He let the pipe hit the floor at a slight angle, as if the bottom of the pipe was a heel hitting the ground. He was placing the pipe down in a forward motion, as most runners do with their legs. When the pipe struck the floor, where did all the energy go? Backwards. Essentially, all these years I thought I had good running form, but instead, with each strike of my heel, I was throwing the brakes on.
I asked what shoes I should be wearing for Crossfit/running. He recommended anything flat; Adidas Sambas, Nike Free's, Puma H-streets, and of course, those ridiculous looking Vibram Five Fingers. I mentioned that I have a high arch, and don't I need support? He then said to me, "what would happen if you walked around all day with a back brace on? Then after years you decided to take it off? What do you think would happen?" So, instead of supporting my arches I have been making them weaker by giving them a crutch. Interesting.
So, I will soon be one of those ridiculous fools wearing those crazy shoes where each toe is defined. Hopefully only in the confines of the gym as to not look like too much of a slave to trends. Apparently not everything new that comes out is a gimmick.
Further reading on this topic, from NPR:
Oh, and I got called up for a face to face interview from Monday's phone interview...Top 2 Baby! Top 2!