Some very interesting videos and links on last weeks weekend sports article. One theme being that running barefoot is much more natural than in shoes, and some interest from folks in making the switch. The latter could be a problem.
Update: Sorry for leaving off the links.
And, a shorter video
If you watch the longer video, you'll see that a person who was used to running in shoes their whole life, when running in shoes, had a big spike in landing forces as you go from the first instant of touching the ground to the first instant of the foot being off the ground. It hits near maximum forces almost immediately on touching down, which is bad news for your body as it means a shock to the systems. Someone who has never run in shoes doesn't have the big spike. There's a smooth rise to the maximum, and then smooth fall to takeoff. Clearly this is a better thing to do, hence the interest in barefoot running.
But there's a third profile -- what happens when someone who has always run in shoes starts to run barefoot. They have exactly the same spikes in forces barefoot as they did when running in shoes. Except that now there's no shoe taking up some of that force for them. This is a recipe for injury -- your body will be experiencing new forces, and be unprepared for them. The one person I know personally who tried the minimalist shoes went promptly to injury (stage one in about a week, stage four in a month). She did an abrupt change to the new shoe, not a transition.
More to the story of course, and it touches on my current rehabilitation.
46 minutes ago