Most barefoot runners have at least heard of the study conducted by Professor Daniel Lieberman and his colleagues at Harvard University, Biomechanics of Foot Strikes & Applications to Running Barefoot or in Minimal Footwear, which confirmed that barefoot runners generally land mid- to forefoot while shod runners generally have more of a heel strike. The research proved what many of us already know – most forefoot and some midfoot strikes (shod or barefoot) do not generate the sudden impact that occur when you heel strike (shod or barefoot).
Barefooters also use the results of this study in the argument about needing shoes when the Harvard professor drew the conclusion that
“runners who forefoot or midfoot strike do not need shoes with elevated cushioned heels to cope with these sudden, high transient forces that occur when you land on the ground. Therefore, barefoot runners can run easily on the hardest surfaces in the world without discomfort from landing.”
In the video below, Daniel Lieberman explains why he runs barefoot, and why we don’t really need shoes to run.