Less Is The New More?
Nike Frees and Vibram FiveFingers
Natural running, also know as Chi, Pose, Evolution, and barefoot style running, has reached a “fever pitch” in our industry, of late. Concurrent studies being conducted at U.V.A. and Harvard on biomechanics, efficiency, and economy are supporting the premise that running with a simpler gait (landing on the midfoot, under one’s center of gravity, with a compact arm swing), lessens the risk of injury, and promotes a stronger, more efficient running style. Of course, no two runners are alike, and those wishing to dramatically change their running form (heavy heel strikers) should proceed with caution. At GEAR, we believe everyone can benefit from “tweaking” their form, and are happy to help you become better runners. We have three certified natural running coaches on our staff, weekly running clubs, informative books, and the Twin Cities largest selection of natural running footwear, to help in your transition.
Danny Abshire’s Superb New Tome
Footwear plays a major role in fostering proper running mechanics. Generally, flatter shoes are preferable. Traditional running shoes have ramps (the differential from heel to forefoot) of 12-16mm, and tend to encourage a braking motion, or heel strike. The ramps on natural running shoes range from 0-7mm, making the heel less likely to engage with the ground, thus allowing one to work with gravity and move forward with less resistance. Boulder Colorado based, Newton Running, specifically designs their shoes to mimic the advantages of a barefoot running style, and have a patented forefoot (action/reaction technology) cushioning system that significantly lessens the risk of injury. Below is an excellent video discussing the merits of natural running form, and the unique appeal of Newtons.
Our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/gearrunning) has generated much dialogue on this topic, and we’d love to hear from you. Ultimately, anything that keeps you running with a smile, is our goal. Happy running, and stay in touch!