Born to be barefoot?

Mon Jul 6, 2009 7:00am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - As running shoes get more pricey and more complicated, some long distance runners are opting to 'just do it' without any shoes at all.

And even seventh generation shoemaker Galahad Clark says he would like to get our feet back to the garden.

"Edenism is the new word," the Britain-based Clark said as he strolled lower Manhattan shod in his thin-soled creation. "Our shoes are not as good as barefoot, but they're as close as we can get."

Clark's line of running and walking shoes, called Vivo Barefoot, feature a three millimeter (0.11 inch) sole that, he contends, frees the wearer to walk and run as evolution intended.

"We just tried to make the least shoe we possibly could," said Clark, in what might seem a counter-intuitive move from a man whose family has been making shoes for almost 200 years.

Clark, whose uncle Nathan invented the desert boot in 1947, says his shoes are "more like glorified socks."

"We've been brainwashed by the big running shoe companies," he said. "More and more people are using minimally constructed shoes to run."

Clark, a runner, is one of a growing band of athletes who believe that typical running shoes cause more injuries than they prevent.   Continued...

<p>An elite female runner's shadow is seen as she runs in the London Marathon April 26, 2009. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>