Monday, October 26, 2009

The Arch

Arches are cool. The more you press on them the stronger they get. Of course they are limited by the material strength but they are weakened much easier by removing a section of the arch or pressing up inside the arch. Why does this matter? Arch "support" in your shoes. Think of all the arches in architecture. You can put all sorts of weight on top of them but try to have a force pressing up in the middle from the bottom and you can easily take the arch out. Shoes have destroyed our arches by "supporting" them.

The good news is there is a cure. You can wiggle your feet and toes and go barefoot and your feet will get stronger. In "Born to Run" by Chris McDougall he talks about all of this so I'm trying to spread the news. One example he gives is a high school runner who had size 12 feet and began incorporating feet strengthening exercises and barefooting into his routine and his arch went up and he turned into a size 9.5 to 10. That high school runner was Alan Webb, who now runs a 3:46 mile.

Other news from his book: only 3% of the population actually have biomechanical problems.

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