Barefoot Running on HBO Real Sports

Many years ago, HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel featured an episode on barefoot running and I was bothered by the fact that this particular episode, which featured Christopher McDougall and Daniel Lieberman, received little main-stream attention.

Barefoot Running
Running form is important and barefoot running is like a biomechanical purifier that allows you to generate less impact by landing on the forefoot, not the heel.

Barefoot Running on HBO Real Sports

The episode aired around the time McDougall published his national bestseller Born to Run, which was also around the time Lieberman published his work on habitually barefoot runners in the Journal of Nature.

The episode was fundamental to running in that it had compelling insights from both Lieberman and McDougall where they addressed the health-harming effects of traditional running shoes and they also addressed the distinction between a heel strike and a forefoot strike running style and how heel strike running causes injury.

Even though much of the episodes’ content is nothing new, I think the video was one of the few that challenged footwear brands up front.

In the video, one of the heads at Adidas was put on the spot with questions regarding the validity of their footwear as no studies suggest their shoes are protective or enhance performance.

On the other hand, Nike’s rebuttal was that if running shoes are harmful, how did world-class runners break so many records wearing running shoes?

Nike failed to take into account that these world-class runners came from barefoot populations where they developed a running style based on running barefoot throughout childhood and adolescents.

Anyways, enough of my rambling, here is the episode, enjoy!


More From Run Forefoot:

Knee Pain From Running – Find out how heel strike running leads to osteoarthritic knees across time.

Forefoot Running Shoes – Read my reviews on the best barefoot like shoes for forefoot running.

Overpronation  – Learn how to avoid overpronating with this simple suggestion!

The Role of the Achilles Tendon in Forefoot Running –  Learn how forefoot runners use the Achilles tendon to their advantage.

Why Take Smaller Steps – Learn why shortening your stride during forefoot running takes load off the hips and knees.

Don’t Overthink How You Run – Understand why it’s important to avoid the pitall of obsessing over your mechanics while you run.

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Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

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P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!

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