Interesting in that the current research with which I am familiar contrasts with your exerience. You may be an exception but most of the anecdotal evidence with which I am aware also indicates that minimalist and or barefoot working out and running is beneficial. The feet have muscles and any muscle not used up to or beyond it capabilities will atrophy and get weak.
We each have to choose what is best for ourselves and for me minimalist or barefoot is the way which I find best for me.
" I have Goodwilled all my over engineered, over padded and over priced "running" shoes. When I run in this style of shoe I run naturally with a fore to mid foot strike, no pronation problems and as a result have stronger and injury free feet."
I fully respect your opinion and your choice of footwear.
However, for me I have tried various shoes in the past, have tried working out in bare feet (not running, but DVDs at home), and have always ended up with injuries.
Since wearing proper running shoes and having them fitted by a professional, I have been far more comfortable both while working out and also going about my normal, day to day activities. It has been so good and such a relief to finally be injury free and I for one will not be attempting bare foot workouts ever again.
I just purchased my third pair of shoes with toes and no padding, this time the Adidas brand. I have Goodwilled all my over engineered, over padded and over priced "running" shoes. When I run in this style of shoe I run naturally with a fore to mid foot strike, no pronation problems and as a result have stronger and injury free feet.
What a coincidence! I had the GTS 12s as well for over a year. It was time for a new pair and they still had the old model GTS 12s in stock. So I just got another pair. How do the 13s compare? I really love Brooks.
Well, this week I finally thought "Enough is enough" and did something I should have done several weeks ago - replaced my old worn out running shoes. No excuses for not doing it earlier - just lack of time and opportunity really.
I am fortunate in that I have a small independent running shop near me and I have used it for the last two pairs of shoes I bought. So I went back there, and have to say that, as before, the level of personal service and advice was second to none.
By gait was tested by me running on a treadmill. I was filmed from behind so I was able to view my run on the TV screen, and in slow motion too so I was able to see a detailed view of how my foot falls. I'm a slight over-pronator, and so the man who owns the shop tried five pairs of shoes on me before we got a pair that were just right - the same pair as my old ones, just the updated version.
I went for an 8 mile run in my new shoes this morning and they felt great - no blisters or rubbing, no pains, no aches, no tightness in my feet or legs - a sure sign that my shoes are right for me.
So my message is for anyone who runs or is considering starting, if you can afford it, a good properly measured and fitted pair of shoes is a must as far as I'm concerned - and a local shop, where you get personal service and great advice, is surely the best place to go.
Just my opinion here - hope it helps someone on some way!
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