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Running Shoes Question

  1. Jul 19, 2008 #1
    Not sure if this is technical enough to go into another category. I have been running recently, and I can't find out if running shoes increase or decrease running speed as opposed to wearing no shoes at all.

    I have used google, but I am not finding the answer I am looking for.
     
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  3. Jul 19, 2008 #2
    Track shoes used by sprinters are ultra-light compared to regular running shoes. Apparently this gives them a small edge. On the other hand, you wouldn't want to walk around in them for very long.

    I can also attest that it is much easier to run in regular running shoes than steel toed boots (you can really feel the weight difference).
     
  4. Jul 19, 2008 #3

    DaveC426913

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    Have you tried running barefoot for any distance?
     
  5. Jul 19, 2008 #4
    It's not about speed, it's about not destroying your knees and ankles with the impact of feet on sidewalk.
     
  6. Jul 19, 2008 #5

    lisab

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    At the speed I would run if I were barefoot, destroying my knees and ankles wouldn't be an issue :rolleyes: !
     
  7. Jul 19, 2008 #6

    Defennder

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    I'd say it increases the speed. Unless the soles of your feet are very rough, you won't be able to generate the same amount of friction to run fast enough.
     
  8. Jul 20, 2008 #7

    PerennialII

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    Most of us have effectively degraded our legs by wearing shoes so running barefoot is probably not an option. Track & light running shoes for max performance, heavier ones for your everyday longer runs. Tracks shoes would think (with nice spikes) increase performance.
     
  9. Jul 21, 2008 #8

    BobG

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    The lighter, the better for performance. Barefoot wouldn't work as good, because shoes can have spikes or a tread pattern for better traction. The exception would be running in sand.

    For training, you want a sturdier shoe that offers some cushioning from the shock. Training in a racing shoe will cause you some injury problems if you're putting in a lot of miles. If you have to choose between a better shoe for racing and a better shoe for training, go with the better shoe for training. The performance difference between running injury free and running with nagging injuries far outweighs any performance difference due to weight.

    In high school, I had three pairs of shoes. A pair of racing spikes, a pair of training spikes, and a pair of training road shoes. I didn't run enough road races to make the expense of a fourth pair of shoes worth it. The racing spikes never needed replacing. I needed new training shoes about once a year, but we put in a lot of miles (70 to 100 miles a week).

    For prolonged activities in the water, your feet will last longer in a good training shoe than in a racing shoe or barefoot. Plus, the bouyancy of a running shoe will cause your feet to float after they've detached from the rest of your body. Eventually, they might wash up on shore, providing your loved ones a body part to cherish.

    A little like a message in a bottle proclaiming, "I'm dead! Stop looking for me!"
     
  10. Jul 21, 2008 #9

    lisab

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    :eek:...:rofl:!!
     
  11. Jul 21, 2008 #10

    Chi Meson

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    Somewhere in the 10k range there is the debatable question whether shoes help or hinder. Way below that (distance-wise), in sprints, there is no question that shoes are necessary to provide enough frictional contact with the surface to allow the necessary power to go fast. Way above the 10k, in marathons, for example, very few people have the foot condition necessary to survive that amount of abuse. Barefooted marathoners are not unheard of, but they are not among the top finishers. There have been barefooted 10k runners that do win (Zola Budd being the most famous).

    Modern air-bag shoes do allow for some elasticity in the collisions between foot and ground, thereby saving some small amount of energy with each footfall. Prior to that, the outsoles of the shoes just absorbed the crash. When I got my first pair of Nike Air shoes in the 80s, I was certain I was running faster, but I never compared it to a barefoot control test.

    Watch the Olympics, and see if any runner is barefooted. That will provide some authoritative input.
     
  12. Jul 21, 2008 #11
    Yes, but you're not stupid.

    I especially like their "It's natural!" argument. So is tuberculosis.

    EDIT: I interpreted you meaning you'd run slow... were you being sarcastic and saying speed >> health? If so, sorry. :(
     
  13. Jul 21, 2008 #12

    lisab

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    :smile: Yes I meant I would run slow. Heck what am I saying...run?!? I couldn't run barefoot if I were being chased by a lion...I'm a tenderfoot :biggrin: !
     
  14. Jul 21, 2008 #13

    Moonbear

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    Out on the sidewalk, running speed is definitely slower without shoes...ouch! Yowweee! Yikes! Ouchie! (At least until you build up enough callouses on your feet to withstand all the debris out on most sidewalks.)

    I don't know about anywhere else (like nice cushiony tracks).
     
  15. Jul 22, 2008 #14

    DaveC426913

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    Haha. If I'm ever stranded on a desert island, that's the message I'm going to write.
     
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