have you read "Born to run" ?

Hi, finished reading born to run today and i did think the whole book was very impressive and knowledgable. I am a tiny bit inspired to try bare foot running but i was wondering if the part about the running shoes was all true? I can't get my head around why Nike and other brands sell running shoes if they don't actually help and even cause injury. Have you read the book, if so what did you think?


  • The book is interesting, if probably slightly fly with the truth.
    Mcdonalds don't sell burgers to make you healthy though, they sell them to make money.
    Nike has shareholders too.. 

  • i see what you mean but Nike sell "running" shoes so shouldn't the shoes be good for running instead of like the book suggests, are more likely to give injury

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I think what the book was trying to say that the heavily cushioned shoes enabled more people to run with poor form and with any injuries that came with it they could sell you the next series of shoes. A bit like the washing powder adverts of the 90's where this years product is so much better than last years so you "just have" to buy it.
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I've read the book (twice) and I think Striker has it about right. Buying cushioned shoes to compensate for poor form is a bit like taking painkillers for a bad back. It just masks the problem rather than fixing it. As he said more people who were not runners were getting into the sport do running was not natural to them so you would expect more injuries.
  • Very enjoyable book that. I too have read it twice. It didn't make me want to cast off my running shoes though. My feet are trashed enough, what with the general wear and tear of lots of running, without getting them covered in dog poo and broken glass too image

    It did make me more sensible in my approach and to forget brands, and colours, and prices etc. The next time I bought running shoes I went by one factor alone....what felt the most comfortable on my feet.


  • Just RunJust Run ✭✭✭

    Great book and i'm with Padders, I now buy whatever feels best.

  • I really enjoyed it. Must admit it opened my mind to running shoes.

  • I decided to try wearing an old pair of Mizuno Phantom Racers for initially a week, to see how they fared with regard to what the book said about lighter shoes.

     I ran 3-6 miles per day for 6 days a week over varying speeds. I'm 5ft 10in and14 stones, so no lightweight.

    No difference, so I ran for another week then it ended up as a month, then another and another ending up wearing the Mizunos for training for three months. No injuries and bar a bit of stiffness, no difference. I admit I was very pleasantly surprised.


  • Oh I wasn't inspired to run barefoot. Too much broken glass unfortunately around .

  • Inspiring book and a great read, wont make me try barefoot that''s for mad people, but did make me think about how far I could go, like a lot of people I'd aspired to Marathon distance, through this I booked an ultra and was pleasantly surprised to do my third 13 miles as quick as my second thirteen.

  • I read the book and think it is generally along the right lines. At school in the 80s I ran in light plimsols with no built up heels. Consequently I have always ran on my forefoot. Heel striking seems to have been created by Nike.
  • I don't think the idea of the book was to make us all run without shoes. More to make us think about running with correct form in spite of the shoe companies creating shoes that make us heel strike.
  • Just watching the Paralympics and have realised that the "blades" they run on do not have any "heel" element to them. Only the mid/ forefoot is re-created. Those guys can run seriously fast too. There must be some evidence as to why the scientists developed blades without a heel.
  • SR: Good shout re shoes in 1980s.

  • Aye I've read it too, and a very good read I agree, most entertaining. The one thing that struck me for the first third of the book was the apparent hatred for Nike the autor had, they literally took a slating every second page.

    Don't really have an opinion on them (Nike) myself but I thought it spoilt the tone of the book for a while. The rest of the story, once he'd met Cabello (spelling?) etc was fantastic though.

  • The shoes I started to run in in earl;y 1980s were basic by comparion to thios e 10 years later. Todays shoes  that are 'basic' models (bottom of price range) have served me fine.

  • Interesting I have just finished this book (audio from Audible) and loved it. I had already started on the barefoot thing as I have concluded that it was a way to avoid injuries rather than causing them. I have had issues in my right foot for years and recently developed plantar fasciitis in my left - so have been doing barefoot exercises for a month or two now.

    BUT I actually don't think this book is really about barefoot or forefoot running - it is an interesting side note - I feel it delivers a strong message about our society and values etc. I found the story of the Tarahumara and the simplicity of their running inspirational and it has made me reconsider the way I approach my body, exercise and in fact life in general. And the bit at the end about Caballo Blanco and his story also very thought provoking.

    I am also listening to Scot Jurek Eat and Run and he also has an account of the epic ultra in the Copper Canyons organised by Caballo Blanco and it confirms the account of the race. In his book he talks a bit about barefoot and concludes that runnnig without shoes is fine and also running with shoes is fine also - but the important thing is form. He uses lighter Brooks racers for most of his training and racing and believes lighter shoes help to promote good form. Having thought this through I feel that as runners we need to focus initially on strength both absolute and dynamic. So for me I am mixing up my training and including strength work! plyometrics, skipping, rowing, swimming and of course a bit of running!!

    As I say I loved this book and believe it can be life changing.....
  • uknick: AgreedtThe Tarahumara tribe are an awesome endurance running tribe.

  • I read it some time ago and apart from it being a very good read and inspirational re the tribe, I too had the impression that the author definitely has a beef with Nike.

    Good point above about running in plimsolls, back when I started to run there were no specially made running shoes and I didn't suffer with injuries. The book hasn't made me go barefoot but OH and I both have a pair of Vibram 5-fingers, find them very comfortable.

  • So why wear £100 Vibrams and not £3 plimsols? Isn't that just pandering to the shoe manufacturer's who want us to spend money on shoes we don't need?

  • Don't know where you saw those, mine didn't cost anything like as much. And I wear them to walk in - not allowed to run again before Christmas.

  • Regarding Scott Jurek I think it's worth bearing in mind he's sponsored by Brooks so isn't likely to be giving a totally unbiased account.
  • I read this post and then bought the book; it's very good, thankyou and I've just ordered a set of vivobarefoot's to try 'em out.  I wish I tried some £3 plimsoles first, but couldn't find any.

    And I joined the army in 1986 and we were issued plimsoles which we called 'slaps', and I can't remember having any problems with them, but I doubt we ran more than 3 to 6 miles in them at a time.

  • lardarse: Good shout re pricing.image

Sign In or Register to comment.