I just saw a report that said barefoot runners do less damage to their body, at least according to the study.

Runners who eschew shoes may be less likely to do serious injury to their feet, because they hold their feet differently, Daniel Lieberman of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and colleagues found.

Writing in the journal Nature, they said runners who wear shoes tend to hit the ground with their heels first, whereas barefoot runners put the balls of the feet down first.

They talked about this study in Germany and all of the experts said the ideas were crazy. I want to add my own experiences. About 8 years ago I was jogging, and then one day my knee decided to become stiff. I stopped jogging for a couple of days and it went away. But then a year later I jogged and exercised again, but instead of the usual stiff knee my knee started to expand like a balloon. I could barely walk.

I went to my doctor and he instructed me to see a physiotherapist. That sort of helped. But it did not get rid of the pain in the immediate. So I then decided to take things into my own hands. The first thing I did was get a knee brace. Whenever I went walking I wore a knee brace, and with a year of wearing my knee brace my knee finally stabilized. So I decided to jog with my knee brace and found out things went back downhill. Albeit not as badly.

It was then I decided to figure out what was wrong with my jogging, since I actually prefer to jog. Upon doing plenty of research I learned that the way we jog today is wrong. We overstress our joints because we keep pounding our joints the same way over and over and over again.

The recommendations were two fold:

  1. Jog using the barefoot technique which means strike with the ball of the foot first.
  2. Jog on country terrain, not city terrain. City terrain is too same, and joking in the countryside forces our joints and muscles to act on the alternating terrain.

I did both of these things, and a year later I don’t need a knee brace anymore. These things actually work, and anybody who says that barefoot jogging is a dumb idea should explain why I can actually jog again.

BTW I did go to a professional jogging store and bought the best shoes for my condition. And it did not help whatsoever! Though I can understand why the shoe industry does not want to hear about barefoot jogging. You don’t need an expensive shoe, just well trained calves. An additional bonus came from my wife. She used to think I had horrible legs, now she says I have nice legs. So no more Mr Chicken legs for me…