Bruce Wilson January 6, 2010 09:59 AM As a diabetic, running barefoot is not an option for me. gedresto2004 January 7, 2010 11:41 AM Abebe bikila rules (he run Rome´s Marathon in 1960 barefoot). He inspired me to start running when I was a teenager. Even now, I think about him when training, racing, running... :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPj9YGgqJ64 Gadgeteer January 16, 2010 09:01 AM Or you can always switch sports. It\'s long been known that bicycling is a sport that can be enjoyed at any age. It\'s also a sport that runners turn to after they\'ve destroyed their knees, but by then, the damage is done. Foot strike is the bane of runners. Researchers discovered decades ago that Tour de France racers were putting out the same amount of power every day as marathon runners. Yet they could do it day after day for three weeks while runners were wiped out after only one marathon. The difference? Lack of impact for the cyclists. AA747 January 16, 2010 07:56 PM \"It is unknown to what extent actual joint contact forces could be affected by compliance that a shoe might provide\" but thats the whole point of a running shoe isn\'t it? So this is an unsatisfactory study. Facebook User January 17, 2010 01:15 PM I\'m now 40 and have been running and hiking barefoot since I was a kid. When I run (I am not a runner), I run barefoot. When I was much younger, I showed up for a volunteer firefighter event and ran a mile and a half on pavement barefoot. Pavement is the hardest on bare feet, believe it or not. I also hike barefoot (just finished a hike yesterday where more than a few people asked about it). I get a lot of comments, as you can well imagine. What I find is several things 1. When running across the desert of the southwest (yes, cactus!), I look and place my feet at speed. You just can\'t run and put your foot on anything, but this increases agility and awareness. It\'s automatic now. 2. When you run barefoot, you run differently - you\'re placing your feet instead of landing on them. I find I run much more lightly than many of my friends because of that, even though I have 80 pounds on them (mesomorph). It won\'t come overnight. The same way you get blisters doing minor yardwork, you have to build up callouses on your feet. I\'m not talking big, thick, unattractive callouses either. People look at my feet and would never guess I go barefoot much of the year. Check this site out for more details, he runs marathons barefoot! http://runningbarefoot.org/ Francis Bollag January 21, 2010 02:14 PM It\'s about time this info came out. I ran track back in the late sixties, and back then track shoes were light flexible items that offered not much more than abrasion resistance. We were trained to run on the balls of our feet, even distance runners and if our coach ever saw a heel touch the track it meant 2 extra laps. When I tried to take up running again in recent years, I still ran on the balls of my feet, since old ingrained habits die hard, but found that the wide flat soles of today\'s running shoes didn\'t alloy for the natural angle of my foot as it struck the pavement. My foot would strike strike on the outer edge, and be torqued flat by the outside edge of the shoe. Indoors at the local fitness club, I took to running on the treadmill barefoot (with socks on) because it was easier, more natural and more comfortable, After a few days, the director came by and told me i couldn\'t use the treadmill without shoes because it was too dangerous. I wish I had this article back then. Currently I run in an old pair of sprinters shoes with a crowned sole which allows good contact at any angle. kinbo1966 February 11, 2012 06:23 AM First, I\'m not a runner but have been doing 5k three times a week. I have a pair of Asics \"running\" shoes that I don\'t really find as suitable for running as my pair of loafer-type slip-on Crocs. Call me crazy, but the Crocs are SUPER light and the sole is SUPER comfy. They just don\'t LOOK like a running shoe but they are way better in my opinion. They are much more like running barefoot than the Asics and I feel less jolt on my knees and legs. me :0) February 16, 2012 09:28 AM i resently started jogging with the 'normal' running shoe and kept getting shin splints. I decided one day to kick the shoes and socks off and run the track barefoot, instantly the pain went away!!! AND I could run longer. Next day I went out and bought flat running shoes. I LOVE THEM!!!!! Senior February 29, 2012 01:04 PM I am now 51 and experiencing moderate foot and leg pain. I stay on my feet all day and landscape on my days off. I have given up on orthopedic shoes. My self therapy has been to keep shoes off my feet as much as possible to recover before lacing up again for work the next week. I suspected that the shoe manufacturers could not match the natural form of my feet. From my own conclusions, I started looking for a natural moccasin shoe but most are very ornamental and would not work for daily activities. I then started thinking I was going to have to create my own shoe until I saw this article. I was thinking of some kind of foot glove that would just protect the sole of my foot and then I saw the five finger shoe. AWESOME! The only problem now is coming up with the cash because the shoe is not cheap. It is amazing that you can simplify product design and the shoe becomes more expensive because it is trendy or meets specific markets like natural athletes. I will cough up the bucks if it will prevent the pain that I experience wearing new traditional shoes. I also suspect that after years of ignoring my natural walk with heavily cushioned shoes, that it has also caused me to experience some sciatic nerve pain in lower back, buttocks and legs. Thanks for giving me insight on some options available to me. Senior Mark Laube July 13, 2012 11:10 AM It is my experience that when facts oppose beliefs most people deny the facts. Orthopods have known for years that the appearance of hugely cushioned and "supportive" basketball shoes that ( originally touted for the prevention of ankle injuries) so many youth covet, have coincided with a like increase in incidence and severity of mid and upper leg injuries. 200 years ago trackers could tell the difference between European foot marks and shoe wear from Native Americans by the fact that Europeans wore the back of the heels of their shoes while a Native wore the heel flat...the native had grown up wearing soft soled, flat, round bottomed moccasins. Traditional, tough, double bottomed with elk hide, moccasins can still be found in a few catalogs. The answer is more in shortening the stride, walking or running, to groundstrike, with the mid- ball of the foot rather than the heel. Anyone can test this by simply walking on a hard surface barefoot while first using their full length stride with heel-first groundstrike, paying attention to the shock transmitted up the leg, then shortening the stride to groundstrike with the mid- foot area.