In a previous hub I addressed the spiritual applications of running as understood from my own personal experience. It was almost a year ago that I began this highly productive, in more ways than one, sport. This hub will address a more practical aspect of running.
When I first started running about a year ago I started out wearing a pair of shoes that I purchased in high school. They were a pair of Nikes that I paid $40.00 for in 1982. Needless to say they were not in very good shape. I quickly realized that good shoes were a necessary element in running.
I did some online research about which shoes would be the best and stumbled across the "Five Finger Toe Shoes" they looked ridiculous yet I was curious as to why anyone would make a shoe like that. I did some research on them which I found fascinating yet I was still skeptical. I decided to purchase a regular pair of ASIC's running shoes and wait awhile and see if these shoes were simply a passing fad or if they were what they claimed to be.
I had all but forgotten about them until my husband and I were in Atlanta in March and a man stepped into the elevator of the hotel we were staying at and he was wearing a pair of the "Five Fingers" The research began all over again considering I was having some hip joint problems from running.I thought maybe this would help. It was decided on the way home that I was getting a pair after reading many great reviews on them.
Benefits of Barefoot Running
The main idea of the shoe is to simulate running barefoot. It was discovered that Kenyan runners who have run barefoot all their lives were less prone to running injuries than runners who wear shoes.
One of the reasons they believe is that barefoot runners are more likely to strike the ground with flat foot or the ball of the foot which causes less impact on the body as a whole whereas 75% of shoe runners strike with the heel first which creates a collision like impact to the body.
Another component to the health of barefoot running is the toes are alowed to spread making for better balance and and all around agility when running.
"Five Finger" shoes do not have any cushion. Foot to ground contact is the whole principle behind the shoe. You would think that the cushion of regular tennis shoes would soften the impact to joints as is experienced by many runners but quite the opposite is true. Our natural God designed foot does a more excellent job of calculating and adjusting the type and strength of impact with the ground than a cushioned shoe. I have personally experienced a much lighter and efficient run.
Foot ankle and calf muscles get strengthened with barefoot running which I believe contributes as well to the protection of and easing of shock distribution to the body.
The only issue I have had with the shoes is that I run on gravel and at times I can feel the uncomfortable prod of stones but I feel this is all natural and adjusts me to run much lighter. I guess one other issue would be the looks I get when I wear them in public.
One question that gets asked a lot is if I mind having something between my toes. I must say that it doesn't. It is like wearing a glove on your feet. I actually enjoy wearing them around the yard, hiking, and general walking. These shoes allow your foot to move naturally over varying types of surfaces. They also allow your toes to grip when needed which cannot be done in a regular shoe.
They also make toe socks that can be worn with the shoe. Some suggested buying a larger size for this as the shoe should be snug while sockless. I didn't have a problem with that while wearing a thin sock but I did buy a thicker pair of socks for winter and also a an extra pair of " "Five Finger" BikilasLS (style) that lace up to accommodate a thicker sock yet keeping my normal size.
The shoes are easy to wash and they dry quickly. It is only recommended that they not be put in the dryer.
I made one attempt at wearing my regular shoes while on a run, mainly because the road was wet and the "Five Fingers" tend to wick up the water, and concluded that I will probably never run in a regular shoe again. I realized how laborious the regular shoe made the whole experience.
Spiritually speaking I think it is a great lesson in that we are always trying to cushion everything in life believing we are preventing ourselves from the experience of pain, when actually by trying to soften everything in avoidance of difficulty we create a whole host of other problems.
Man is always trying to improve upon what God has already perfectly designed.
Scripture Motivation for Running
These are some motivational scriptures I refer to inspire both my physical and spiritual run.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified ~ I Corinthians 9:24-27
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:28-31
I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart. ~ Psalm 119:32
For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. ~ Psalm 118:29
“Draw me after you and let us run together! ~ Song of Solomon 1:4(NASB)
Third Day Run to You
- Running Shoes Vs Barefoot Running
Depending on your running style and technique there are a whole host of fancy running shoes to suit your needs, but do you really need running shoes to run? There is a slow growing club of barefoot runners out there who tell us that we don't. Persona
- Barefoot Running Shoes
If you have any pain when you run, you should seriously consider dropping your familiar running shoes and switching to bare foot running shoes. I know that "barefoot running shoes" sounds like an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp. I mean if you are runni
© 2011 Tamarajo
More by this Author
Part 4 of a series about the New Jerusalem shown in Rev. chapter 21 and how it symbolizes the entire Christian journey from beginning to end resulting in eternal life with God. This portion of the series centers on...
Bible reading and study are one of the much neglected necessities and disciplines to the Christian life. This article is both an admonishment and encouragement to Love the Word of God. Tools included.
Another New Testament connection to a seemingly random Old Testament verse once again sheds light on the teachings of Jesus.