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Our body is remarkably good at figuring out what to do in a given situation, and it’s for this reason that our form changes from what I consider to be “natural” Adidas NMD Femme when we put shoes on. It therefore comes as no surprise to me that the vast majority of runners in modern running shoes are heel strikers, and a substantial number of them are horrific overstriders (I’ve watched more than enough slow-motion race video to be pretty certain about this). There aren’t a whole lot of good data linking mechanics or footwear to specific injury risk, but I continually come back to the question of whether wearing shoes that dramatically change our form from what might be deemed “natural” might have some unintended or even possibly deleterious consequences. The human body seems to have evolved to move in a certain way when we allow it to run in its natural state, and monkeying around with that might not be such a good idea. Or maybe it is, as other human inventions have allowed us to do things in ways that we couldn’t otherwise. For example, my glasses/contact lenses allow me to read, and maybe cushioned shoes improve my ability to run on asphalt.I’m not saying everyone should run barefoot or even necessarily in minimalist shoes, or that these are even necessarily better, but rather asking the question: Are modern running shoes and the biomechanical changes they allow/cause a good thing? What is the empirical evidence that a 12mm lifted heel and extensive cushioning are positives for our feet and legs? I for one don’t believe this question has been answered, though others involved in the shoe industry would appear to disagree. I think we do, especially in Western societies. We have been wearing shoes for thousands of years and have actually evolved to adapt to a ‘shod’ situation. There’d be many people who argue with that, but I think that we’ve now pretty much established that it’s good to have the heel raised in shoes. About 12mm is a good thing biomechanically, because you’re in a more efficient position. If you’re running around the Kalahari Desert you develop a lot of calluses, but it’s probably still desirable to have a decent pair of shoes rather than doing that barefoot.Well, that’s a very interesting question because it hasn’t been settled on at all. With ASICS we’ve always worked on a 10mm gradient. That’s the difference between the height of the forefoot and the height of the rear foot, so if you’ve got a cushion type shoe it might be 24mm and 14mm off the ground. A racing flat might be slimmer at 10mm and 20mm. We’ve done a lot of research on this and we understand that it actually puts your foot in a mechanically better position, makes it more stable, takes a load off the Achilles tendon… so there’s a lot of positives. There’s a lot of myths and all that sort of crap and the problem is that every time you add a little raise, people are going to say ‘oh but you’re removing the foot from the ground therefore you’re going to make it more unstable and you’re more likely to sprain an ankle’, which is complete nonsense. That’s scientifically unsustainable. There’s no evidence to say that happens at all. Instantaneous bullshit detection going on! This is very popular at the moment and there’s a lot of companies Nike Blazer Womens that have websites saying that barefoot running is the way to go. But I think if we look at everything that science tells us, which is what we have to place our belief in, then that statement would not ever be supported because of the ability of shoes to help improve biomechanics.I agree with Bartold that shoes are generally a good thing, and I genuinely don’t think that barefoot running is going to be the answer for the vast majority of runners (myself included). However, I’m not so sure that there is a lot of published empirical evidence demonstrating that a 12mm lifted heel is ideal. Does a 12mm lifted heel make you faster, more efficient, or less likely to get injured?