Why Do We Need Running Shoes?

Why do we need running shoes?

This is an interesting question…

While shoes are hugely in the market for keeping your feet healthy, things I have experienced have made me feel otherwise.

With the frenzy of injury while running, we are so eager to get the right fitted running shoe. Protection while running is extremely important, because they say if we don’t have the right support we could end up with hip, knee, shin, back or feet injuries to name a few! I do believe this to a certain extent! But…Are we all being sold a bunch of bunk? I mean listen we weren’t born with shoes on our feet, we actually learned how to walk better and learn faster as infants with no shoes. It looks very awkward watching a baby try his first steps in shoes compared to watching him/her learn on bare feet!

  • Does this hype wearing highly conditioned and expensive shoes have merit?
  • Did we just teach ourselves to need shoes?
  • Have we conditioned our feet that way?
  • Are they running shoes or running shields?
  • Does Fashion have something to do with it?

Yes, yes, yes and yes!

With technology there is the advent of change, change for the better shoe. We need a good looking shoe with lots of protection from the constant jarring from running and we need a shoe that will last…Because we have out of shape feet?


Is this why we need running shoes?

  • We need an expensive well supported shoe so that are feet can relax and our minds can go back to better things. Like dreaming about the next running shoe idea…
  • Do you think that we have been brainwashed and taught to think that we need the good looking shoe with super protection?
  • I guess it just isn’t ethical to run bare foot because you might step on something. Uh…Mostly the ground, something our feet were made to step on.
  • Our feet are conditioned and don’t know how to walk comfortably barefoot let alone run. These running Shields protect us from everything, even from remembering how to walk properly. We get a shoe to do that for us.
  • Don’t forget that we need something on our feet to look better than us…Are we not beautiful anymore without accessories?

Think back…
So when did the old added support for your feet come in? Interesting…In the 50s, 60s and 70s our shoes had limited support. I don’t remember worrying too much about support…

Although I was quite young…It was really how fast the shoe was, by making better traction and a lighter shoe. I remember a pair of Adidas that I never wanted to give up, they had hardly anything to them except the cool strips. It was almost like running barefoot. I had to get rid of them because both my baby toes were shooting out the sides!

Support really came in the late 1980s with the Michael Jordan’s celebrity induced, Nike Air Jordans and then shoes just blossomed from there…

Just my theory…
I think that our shoes today have almost so much support that we are actually causing ourselves injury…We seem to always need something on our feet. By the time we have spent at least 20 years with so much foot support we risk injury. We risk injury walking around on bare feet. I wonder how many people had planters fasciitis in the last century? Isn’t that partly caused by an inflexible arch?

So this is my thing…I had a sore foot for the last 2 months and had to take a lot of running time off. I went away on vacation and went barefoot in the sand. We were at the beach, so why wear shoes? All week I spent the time on my bares! I did worry a bit because I always wear shoes and supportive slippers at home…I really worried I was going to make my injury worse! Funny thing is my feet felt better when I got home and I felt like I finally gave my feet exercise! Exercise you say? Yes exercise…I know it sounds silly, but I now believe if we don’t have to wear shoes, we should be going more barefoot.

Our feet are becoming out of shape, weak and too supported. We don’t know how to walk on our own two bare feet because were so used to being supported. Needless to say I came home and wore shoes again and the pain in my foot came back. It is either one of the pairs of shoes I wear or maybe a hint that my feet need better conditioning without the super foamed supported shoes.

 So now I walk bare foot whenever I can and I also have found some super exercises to do for my feet while I go barefoot. A runner may always say, “Don’t neglect your feet and always get a good fitted shoe.” This is important…But you gotta wonder… What really is neglecting your feet? Interesting site on Barefoot Running Another Interesting article about why ‘Barefoot Running’ is better!

I’d love to read you comments in the section below!


  1. Great bit of writing. You are of course right – I have started barefoot running after hurting my knee then getting plantar fasciitis from wearing shoes. To be honest what scares me is not gravel or glass but dog 'mess'. Feeling it squish between your toes doesn't make me feel free just vile!! I recking someone needs to invent a totally minimal (way more minimal than VFFs) waterproof 'socks' – like totes toasties but in goretex.

  2. Good commentary. Running shoes and just constantly wearing shoes in general are the worst things for your feet. I know I wasn't born with a pair of Nikes on my feet. We have a mulibillion dollar running shoe industry and yet more and more runners are constantly injured. Studies have shown that people of poor nations that have no money for shoes have much less problems with their feet. World class Kenyan and Ethiopian runners spend much of their childhood running barefoot and they seem to be do pretty well in the professional running world. I just don't buy into the shoe company's assumptions that we were born with broken feet that need to be "corrected".

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