Composition in Two Genres (1)

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Samuel Landesman

Professor Justin

English 11000


Running of The Future- A Thing of The Past?

            Safer, more effective, and the hot new trend, running with minimalist shoes, or with none at all, are the way to go if you want to have a better running experience. By using forefoot striking, proper posture, and the strength of the feet to propel one forward, running with less cushioning is actually better. The athletic shoe industry is worth over 3.5 billion dollars, and would have you believe that the latest running shoes are the best thing since sliced bread. Research actually shoes that the shoes themselves might be worthless, and in some cases damaging. That’s right, the advanced cushioning on the bottom of your feet might actually be causing you harm. I’ve been running for years, but I always had lower back pain and general muscular tension. Since I’ve started running in minimalist shoes, my pain has vanished. This can be attributed to a few possible factors. For one, I’ve started to land on the balls of my feet, so my ankles absorb some of the impact from my step. This lets my knees, back, and hips do less work. Also, I can run with proper posture. Because my shoes don’t have a heel drop, when standing straight I am actually fully upright, as opposed to at an angle with the ground. Aside from having a more stable and evenly distributed run, I’m also running more efficiently.

The multi-billion dollar athletic shoe industry has done a good job convincing the public that added protection from their cushioned running shoes keeps you safer from injury. While it might seem that cushioned heels can absorb the impact from running, and that a sturdy running shoe can properly stabilize the foot, running with less on your feet actually leaves less room for problems. A 2016 study shows that runners who trained barefoot had a smaller impact force with the ground than those who ran with shoes. Meaning, that although cushions might have a softer impact with the ground, the way one runs without shoes actually creates less impact for the body to absorb. Also, runners who don’t run in constricting shoes can properly stabilize themselves with their foot. Take a look at the Tarahumara tribe of Mexico. They run hundreds of miles on a regular basis through mountain ranges into their old age! And on their feet, simple thin sandals! Or nothing at all. The Tarahumara are said to run like humans at the beginning of time, and not with the tainted form of those who run with shoes.

Thousands of years ago, humans didn’t have shoes, but would run long distances to tire their prey. Their existence depended on their endurance. Humans were seemingly designed to run in a barefoot, natural gait. The new way to run is really just the old way to run.