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Cover Nature
There’s a (r)evolution in the world of running it seems, many runners are tossing their expensive cushiony running shoes and opting for barefoot’ing it, running in sandals, flats and some are just making their own shoes (our favorite!). We’ve covered many DIY shoe making projects and it’s interesting to see this new trend shoe-less trend backed with some pretty serious research. The latest issue of Nature just dropped in my mailbox, I think the full article will be online at some point, but here are some excerpts, sites and more…

Humans have engaged in endurance running for millions of years, but the modern running shoe was not invented until the 1970s. For most of human evolutionary history, runners were either barefoot or wore minimal footwear such as sandals or moccasins with smaller heels and little cushioning relative to modern running shoes. We wondered how runners coped with the impact caused by the foot colliding with the ground before the invention of the modern shoe. Here we show that habitually barefoot endurance runners often land on the fore-foot (fore-foot strike) before bringing down the heel, but they sometimes land with a flat foot (mid-foot strike) or, less often, on the heel (rear-foot strike). In contrast, habitually shod runners mostly rear-foot strike, facilitated by the elevated and cushioned heel of the modern running shoe. Kinematic and kinetic analyses show that even on hard surfaces, barefoot runners who fore-foot strike generate smaller collision forces than shod rear-foot strikers. This difference results primarily from a more plantarflexed foot at landing and more ankle compliance during impact, decreasing the effective mass of the body that collides with the ground. Fore-foot- and mid-foot-strike gaits were probably more common when humans ran barefoot or in minimal shoes, and may protect the feet and lower limbs from some of the impact-related injuries now experienced by a high percentage of runners.

Running barefoot is better, researchers find…

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Running Barefoot or In Minimal Footwear.

On to the DIY shoe making…

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HOW TO – Make sandals made from old tires.

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MAKE 10 – Tire Sandals.

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How To Make Duct Tape Sandals.

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Homemade Fabric Flip-Flops

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DIY instructions on how to make huarache running sandals of the Tarahumara Indians…

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How to Make Moccasins


Thoughts? Post up in the comments! Any makers out there like to run (and do fun things with the data?)…

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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