Vibram Lawsuit - It is not about the shoe
Recently, Vibram settled a lawsuit about their minimalist shoes and what they claimed they would or would not do. They agreed to pay 3.5 million dollars to those who purchased the shoes, with or without a receipt. 3.5 million may sound like a lot, and in my bank account in certainly would be, but to them, it was a fractional cost of doing business in a very competitive market.
The lawsuit claimed Vibram claimed health benefits that were never backed up with science. But the truth is, no claims in the footwear industry are backed up by science. That's what Christopher McDougal brought to light in Born to Run, and that's what started this whole natural running movement.
But somewhere along the way we got lost. We thought running was about buying a thing, a widget, a "shoe" that could suddenly make us better. What we forgot is that it is us, our practice, our awareness, and our attention to form that makes us better and keeps us injury free.
It's not about the shoe.
It never was, and it never will be.
One of the reasons I got into barefoot running was how it helped me heal and get running again. That was because I could feel the ground and learn my lightest stride. That's what I want every runner to learn, what his/her lightest stride is. There's no one stride that works for everyone, each of our bodies is unique. But we each have an incredible nervous system, an awareness system, or a mindfulness system, all connected by thousands of nerve endings to the bottom of our feet.
Learn how to run light, and you can carry that form back with you into a shoe...into many shoes, though certainly not all of them. But once you learn how to run naturally, and run light, you will leap forward in your evolution as a runner.
Then you can wear a Five Finger, or a no finger, a 150, a Gel blah blah, a Free to be me, or a born to be free, and you'll run light, you'll run far, and if you chose a shoe that doesn't squash or inhibit your feet, you may run injury free for years to come.
Just remember, it's not about the shoe, it's about your natural running form. And for me, that comes from being mindful, from feeling the ground, and listening to my body.