Posted by: James | June 5, 2009

Running insertless

More stuff from the book Born To Run:

Modern running shoes enable us to land on our heels – not good – this does not enable runners to get the most shock absorbtion which comes from our achilles tendon.

Modern running shoes provide extra support for our arches – not good – this weakens the foot.

With my current running form – see post below – I’ve slowly started to become a mid/outer foot striker that rolls inward to toe-off. The best way to really test proper foot strike is to run short distances – something along the lines of a quarter mile – barefoot. I’ve been dealing with mild sesamoiditis in my left foot – not running related – so the thought of barefoot running ANY distance makes me cringe.

In order to get as close to the ground as possible I yanked the inserts out of my old road shoes and laced them up for my 3 miler yesterday to see what it was like. At first I was a little worried an injury might crop up but after yesterday’s run it felt so good to feel the road and to be off my heels I ran again today without the inserts. I had no positive expectations but surprisingly the few twinges I’ve been feeling in my arches and achilles the past few weeks were 100% non-existent during these two runs.

My beloved Saucony Triumph 4s

Now I don’t plan on doing every single run from now on without inserts, my feet don’t have the strength for that yet, but I do plan to incorporate at least two or three of my shorter runs a week without inserts or until I find a suitable alternative, something comparable to racing flats, possibly the NB 790s (trail) or a super-thin insert.



  1. Funny, I do that, too! Last year during Hardrock the insoles were creeping up in front of my toes for some reason, so I just took them out. Had no problems at all and whenever I buy a pair of shoes, I just take them out and put them in my work shoes…


  2. Awesome! Glad I’m not the only one playing in the loony bin!

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