Running shoes are a good idea for most of us. But lately scientists have discovered that running barefoot could be beneficial. God created the foot with an amazing ability to protect itself while running.
Harvard University evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman, called an “avid runner,” was curious about how humans were able to run safely and comfortably before the modern invention of the running shoe. He decided to conduct an experiment. Lieberman measured the gaits of runners, both with and without shoes, in the U.S. and Kenya. Lieberman’s team observed a key difference in running behavior. Runners with shoes landed on their heels as they run. Barefoot runners either landed on the balls of their feet, or flat on their feet—reducing the impact to their feet and keeping muscles flexed.
The scientists concluded that barefoot running may decrease common running injuries. Lieberman explained that landing on one’s heels while wearing shoes “creates an impact; it’s like someone hitting your heel with a hammer with up to three times your body weight.” Other researchers have also come to the same conclusion. Fortunately, running shoes cushion this blow.
We shouldn’t be quick to get rid of our shoes, however. There are lots of dangers on the roads and sidewalks, making cuts and bruises on your feet a possibility. Our feet have become accustomed to shoes, so our muscles would have to adjust to a different way of running if we didn’t wear them.
It is an interesting reminder that God’s original design is superior to human inventions. Perhaps Adam and Eve ran barefoot up to 40 miles per hour!