No. That is precisely the point you cannot support based on currently available data. I could respond to the rest of your post line by line, but it really boils down to that. I'm well aware of the literature that does exist, and it absolutely does not support that point.
This is getting pretty ridiculous. I do not need studies on every shoe model ever to understand these basic concepts. Asking for extensive studies done on this topic is not feasible for anyone on this forum. I was given a brain and logic for a reason. If a study is ever able to come along and say "hey walking in 6 inch heels is good for you" with some backing THEN I would reconsider these ideas. But nothing even close to that is being claimed - exactly the opposite.
From a basic understanding of force I know that distributed pressure is better. This is exactly why a kevlar vest works - it distributes the force of a bullet over a large area. I can take that same logic and apply it to impact forces on a body. If I can distribute the forces over multiple areas (IE: foot progressively landing, arch absorption, Achilles, etc) then there is less impact force exerted on the joints.
I can also presume since balance is good for running then adding more balance (IE: Toe splaying) is good. Reducing balance is bad. I'm not sure why this is so difficult..
As I've said many times now I'm not a research scientist and this is not a suitable arena for me to prove anything to you.
You may be done but you are disproving your own points - you say distributed force is better - ok that is the point of the rock plate in the Merrel Trail gloves. They are zero drop and are recomended for use on particular terrain which is why they are better than barefoot for that very reason. Also your arguemetn about drop differencial becomes moot as soon as you move to uneven terrain a 4mm differencial is not going to affect ones form on completely un even irregular terrain if you are forefoot striking your mechanics will remain the same. Also barefoot vs minimally shod has no impact on impact forces as long as foot strike is forefoot/ midfoot Liebermans own studies say this. So where else are you getting your data from trying to prove your point?
The key to Chi running rather than focussing on heel/mid/fore foot strike is that impact occurs underneth your center of gravity. The inherent evils of heel striking are based in no small part because the impact occurs infrom of the centre of mass and then the body needs to pulll itself over the foot which is where the braking and impact forces occur. Because of the clodd hoppers they may well be slightly heel striking but in reality the impact forces will not be too disimilar to "correct " running form as decribed by say Lieberman or as taught in the POSE technique . Student of CHI are generally advised to focus on a midfoot strike with bent knees but they key being point of impact ( ie focus on impact occuring under your center of mass). Also modern teachers of this technique tend to recommend more minimal running shoes. Remember when he first published his book VFF's were not around
+ 1 on go fully barefoot. I ran for about 5 months in a pair of KSO's which I loved but had niggling issues which had me like you questioning whether to go back to "regular" shoes. Finally I did what every single expert I respected recommended and ditched the shoes completely realised I had to totally relearn and within half a mile I was aware of how bad my form was - in Vibrams!!! I took it very slow but after 8 months I was running barefoot quicker than I had shod or in VFF's (7.30-8m mile for a 10k) for example so not super quick like some but for me I was booking it! Go barefoot - you will not regret it - once you have it dialled in you can go back to the VFF's lets say for racing or whether extremes and you should have no problems
I don't think things like heel-toe drop and padding are inherently evil or problematic. ...
These things essentially act as replacements for natural body functions.
Sole padding, the springiness that is advertised, essentially replaces your arch. That's not how the body naturally runs. There was a good video posted here a while ago that says if we required padding on our feet why weren't our butts on the bottom of our feet? Exactly...
Heel to toe drop changes the angle at which your body hits the ground. So instead of hitting the ground at around 80-100 degrees you hit in lower degrees. say 50-80. Think of it like wearing heels your whole life - which has been proven to be bad for the back of women who wear them. This results in your body being off balance. Not good. A simple google search concerning why heels are bad has many results. Here is one: http://foothealth.about.com/od/shoessocks/a/HighHeelsBad.htm
Adding the other 2 components for a rounded-out view of minimalist running:
Forefoot Landing - Allows the body to use all of it's natural components to absorb the ground shock.
Toe Splaying - Adds to balance and distributed force of ground impact.
I would actually consider the first 3 the most important and toe splaying a little less so. There have been significant studies done on heels and I would consider that topic irrefutable. Others like forefoot landing have not been fully established.
How ever we are talking about trail running here so rarely is one landing on a flat plane . Basically there are many limited differencial shoes available for the toughest trails. As mentioned Inov8 bare grip 200, the Merrel Trail Glove both are zero drop and the NB Minimus are 4mm. The reality is that depending on the distance you are running the Treks for example may not give the a)traction b) sole protection one might need to run well. To explain what I mean here and to highlight my experience - I am in majority a barefoot runner , I log around 50 miles per week on average - in conditions where the roads are bad (lots of glass loads of gravel etc) I will wear KSO's . For basic trail running I have Treks which I love. But if you are running very technical trails for long distance continuos jabs to the sole of ones foot are cumulative and can seriolsy affect ones form . I am training for a very technical trail ultra and when running the course upto say 12 miles is fine in the Treks but I would not want to go over 15 miles on this course as I think I would be liable to hurt myself due to issue with form which is why I plan to run the race proper in NB minimus( the Trail Gloves are waay too narrow for my feet. That is just my opinion. So basically depepnding on what you want to do -- choose the shoe thats fits - as one of the original posters on the board Last Place Jason and somewhat of a mentor in the quest for running an ultra always says use shoes as tools -each job may require a differnt tool !!
Hi Seret Have you considered going fully BF - I know I went from snekaers - and running 45mpw to VFF building slowly as directed by one and all but still was having niggling issues - PF being one . Eventually after one really annoying ligamnet strain I said screw this and went BF - It slowed me right down and I defintely noticed my form changed almost immediately. Now that was 5 months ago I am upto runiing 9 miles BF and I have never felt better my feet feel great and I have had no issues since the change. Might be worth a go before you spend all that money - just take it easy. OK what ever you chose - all the best
+1 one everything jeepman said - You just cannot underestimate how much weaker your feet are than the rest of your body especially if you are already running some serious mileage. The most effective transition program I have seen is a 12 week program which will get you to run 1.5K!!! yes I know it seems overly long and very cautious but I promise you if you do not take it easy you will pay and be so upset you didnt listen to those that have gone before-- and made the mistakes like myself) If you look on the barefoot forums on Runner World online you will see a sticky from Jason Robillard - he post under the name Last Place Jason , he posts occasionally here as well, this guy knows his stuff . He is running the Burning River 100 mile race this weekend barefoot . And has written an excellent book on barefoot running. I would not even think of runing in your VFF's prior to your half mary . Just use your new VFF to walk around in then once it is over you can slowly without any pressure learn the form necessary to run comfortabley and safely either barefoot or in VFF's
Hi Toastergirl - why yes I was. I have to say I had never seen so many VFF's in one place before so I was somewhat overwhelmed . I was the englishman wearing my hoboken harriers shirt - HOHA!! Do you ever run with John D and the barefoot crew in Central Park? I wish I could have gone to the one with Barefoot Ken Bob the following week but I was home alone with my kids!!
Hello Tentoes - I am in Hoboken- did you know there is a barefoot/VFF running group in NYC? They have had a couple of BF running clinics the past month one with Michael Sandler the other with Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton- always good to get advice from the masters as they say. If you are interested let me know and I can pass on the details. I am planning on doing my 1st VFF half marathon in the Newport /Pavonia(round Liberty Park) half in Sept
As I understand POSE - and Jeepman can certainly correct me, that is a common misconception that POSE says your heels should never touch the ground. In fact they say that your heel should lightly kiss the ground but that you should already be lifting off the foot as this happens so no real weight is ever placed on the heel.
"The heel is allowed to touch the ground, as long as the body weight is located (placed) on the ball of the foot. But touching the ground with the heel, nevertheless, doesn't mean that the body weight is relocated there." Dr Romanov He goes on to say
The heel landing first on the ground or holding heels high off the ground (on the toes) are both incorrect, because in both cases it constitutes work performed against gravity, which consequently overloads bones, tendons, ligaments and leads to injuries.
Once again not an advocate just passing on what is my understanding
OK Jeepman you really want to start this debate OK then I will bite what about the clinical studies that show zero or negative results amongst seasoned athelets? I am not wrong - your are blinkered and if in fact you taught POSE as it has been suggested by Romanov himself - he has said it can take over a year to fully understand its intricacies - or do you know it better than him? http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/10/pose-running-reduces-running-economythe.html
Listen it is not that I am saying POSE is wrong - I am saying it is an option - not the only answer . If you disagree then fine but that is for you - I can point to hundreds of world class athletes who would wipe the floor with you who run with a differening technique to you so please allow for differences of opinion and style as what we are trying to do here is to encourage people to run. And before you mock my knowledge perhaps you should ask who I am or what my knowledge is - I have taken a 3 month POSE course and use it a lot in my running but it is not the be all and end all I'm afraid for me - I enjoy and look to expand my knowledge base by looking at other techniques to see if they can help too. It is apparent you have a vested financial interest in POSE so in my opinion that makes you a shill rather than a disparate purveyor of advice - but then again that is my 2 cents and nothing more.
Also Jeepman if you read Danny Dryers article you yourself posted yousee he mentions dorsiflexion in regards to the fact it makes people heel strike and that is what causes injuries. He himself does nto heel strike so any degree of dorsiflexion is not as impactful re injuries. I would recomend a less antagonistic approcah to advice giving on the forum as it creates nothing but sense of hostility and as we know not every one is the same especially when it comes to their approach to running
Jeepman, I think it is not fair to diss without regard these other form guides because POSE works for you . Many feel POSE is just an example of clever marketing and just overly detailed which makes it very hard for some to truly grasp its message, it is also very very expensive. Evolution running is not so far from POSE in its technique - it is just explained more simply and is less rigid in its methodology. So it may work very well for some people. I think it depends on what you are looking for ems , are you looking for a technique to make you faster or are you looking purely for form. I think you could benefit from reading both Last Place Jasons book or Michael Sandlers tome on barefoot running they are very good resources