Stewards of a lost art: born to run barefoot

CoverThe Tarahumara are stewards of a lost art. For centuries, the reclusive Mexican Indians have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles, rest-free, and enjoy every mile of it. They’re healthy and serene and immune to diseases that can plague modern existence. But how?

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen asks this very question. And one answer the author came up with is… drumroll please:

They run barefoot. Well, almost barefoot. They craft simple sandals from old tyres – no pillowy soft air cushioning, no dynamic cradles that can be found in over-priced running shoes.

People were designed to run. Barefoot. This is the theory established in Born to Run. Barefoot running strengthens the foot and creates  a solid foundation for the body. Running shoes  force the foot to rely on the shoe for support, weakening the foot, which can lead to injury. When ‘proper’ running shoes were introduced in the 1970s, so too were running injuries. The more expensive the shoe, the higher the rate of injury!

So what is a lover of running to do? Likely we don’t want to wear old tyres or risk naked feet when there’s glass and rocks to contend with. There is an answer. It isn’t pretty. But it is oh, so comfortable. It’s a barefoot running shoe. I first read about them in Born to Run and now  I wouldn’t run in anything else.

Like to run or thinking about starting? Born to Run will psyche you up. Read on! It might just change everything.

Check the Christchurch City Libraries website for great running resources.