Okay, I’ll admit it, I stare at runners. I do. I can’t help looking at nearly every runner that I see. Driving to work in the morning I’ll find myself slowing down just enough to catch a few strides of a morning runner.
It amazes me how dramatically running shoes alter, err… break, something as primitive and hard-wired within us as running.
What’s more interesting is how differently it effects people’s gait.Mainstream running verbiage classifies a runner one of three ways: over-pronator, neutral, or under-pronator (supinator).I never quite understood the reasoning of this system.Instead, over the years I’ve kept a mental journal of (bad) running forms, all thanks to the modern running shoe.I may be missing a few, so feel free to add ‘em here.
Here are 5 tragic running techniques all thanks to shoes:
- The Slapper. Your heard right. The unmistakable slapping sound some runners make when their shod feet literally slap flat on the pavement. Just this past week while in a local park enjoying an outdoor lunch, a runner slapped past our picnic table. [By running barefoot you will naturally land softly and quietly]
- The Bouncer. This one’s often seen combined with the Slapper.Actually the poor soul (sole) from the park was a ‘bouncing slapper’. Bouncers always provide an interesting show as their vertical movement appears nearly equal in length with their forward motion.[By running barefoot you should naturally lean forward slightly thus letting gravity help propel you forward]
- The Heel Striker. You’ll often hear about heel-to-toe as the correct running form or technique.Eh, wrong.Take your shoes off and running across the house quickly, you will barely heel-strike.Thanks to the thick positive heels in runners, heel-strike is almost guaranteed in most runners. [By running barefoot you’ll only touch with your heel, most runners will mid/fore foot land while running]
- The Side Roller. Sorry, but “that’s how I roll” is no excuse.This fundamentally dangerous move is usually developed after years of running, and typically a favorite of ‘jogger’s’. This is a heel-to-toe roll variation but with predominance of one’s ‘roll’ out the outside of your foot, also known as a supinator. [I don’t even think this one’s possible barefoot]
- The Shuffler. This one’s a classic. Similar to the less seen (heard) Slapper variety. This tragic style appears visually as if the feet are crying out “I’m tired, this sucks, are we there yet?” The Shuffler is unmistakable evidence of how our foot muscles are asleep when running in shoes. Don’t let this one fool you; it’s a silent destroyer. [By running barefoot your feet, body and mind are in constant communication thus assuring proper technique and no lazy feet]
Happy (barefoot) trails!
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