Is Barefoot Running a Paleo-Fad?

What’s great about this post is that the author dares to question barefoot running as a “paleo-fad”. I never thought of it that way, but now that she mentioned it, is there any truth. I don’t know, but I think I’ll have a steak for dinner tonight.

This week I’m reading Lone Survivors, a new book in which British anthropologist Christopher Stringer reports that someHomo sapiens wore shoes as early as 40,000 years ago.

This paleo-fact caught my eye because my husband, who is keenly interested in matters of fitness, has been talking to me lately about barefoot running. The idea — as it’s been popularized — is that the natural, best way for us to run today is the same way humans have been running for hundreds of thousands of years: with our bare feet striking the earth.

I tend toward skepticism when health advice is based on what our ancestors did, without regard to variation in past behavior. So I’m wondering, if shoes are as old in some early-human populations as Stringer claims, is the barefoot-running phenomenon just another paleo-fad?

Read the full article at NPR.


Photo copyright by flickr user JohnKochmanski.

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