2005 November 05 ABC World News – Happy Feet – with Barefoot Ken Bob


Running with no shoes.
The man who says,
“This is the way
nature meant it to be”
And finally tonight, barefoot
and running.
Today the streets of New York City
were filled with thousands
of marathoners and people who
came out to cheer them on.
To get an extra edge
serious runners spend some
serious money on high-tech shoes.
It turns out they might be better off
if they just kicked them off.
Here’s ABC’s John Berman.
John Berman: 35,000 people
endured the New York
City Marathon today.
Every day, millions more lace up
their sneakers
and go for a run.
That, Ken Bob Saxton says,
is where they all go wrong.
Ken Bob: They’ve lost touch,
literally, with the ground.
John Berman: Ken bob has run
dozens of marathons
barefoot.
Ken Bob: A lot of it is just freedom.
It feels good to feel the breeze
blowing across the tops of my feet.
John Berman: Not only does it feel better,
but there is growing research
that says it’s better for you.
Dr. Irene Davis: I honestly believe we
were designed to be barefoot.
John Berman: Professor Irene Davis
studies running styles
at the University of Delaware.
She says many of the new sneakers,
with all of their support,
are making our feet
lazy.
We were really designed
to have feet that help to
cushion the impacts of landing.
By wearing shoes,
we’ve sort of decreased the
demands on those muscles,
and with time the muscles
have really naturally gotten weaker.
John Berman: And that makes your
feet more vulnerable to injuries.
If you have worn running sneakers
your whole life, like I have,
it is probably not a good idea
to throw out your shoes and
try running barefoot right away.
You have to change
the way you run.
Most runners strike the ground
with the heels of their feet.
Without shoes, that would hurt.
So when barefoot
you have to land on the
middle or front of your feet,
with the arch helping to absorb the impact.
In the lab, running barefoot,
I was able to cut the
shock on my shins
in half.
John Berman: Even sneaker
giant, Nike, believes,
In some cases, less is more.
Their new shoe, the Nike Free,
is like a slipper with a sole,
designed to be
almost like going barefoot.
But Ken Bob says,
there is no substitute
for the real thing.
You can tell a barefoot runner
by the smile on their face.
John Berman: He says people
would understand
if they would just run a mile…
…in his shoes.
John berman, ABC News, Newark
captioned by Barefoot Ken Bob

14 Replies to “2005 November 05 ABC World News – Happy Feet – with Barefoot Ken Bob”

  1. Known long before 2005…. Timothy Noakes, cited a study in his 2002 "Lore of Running"… See my book, Barefoot Running Step by Step for even more surprising results from new studies of experienced barefoot runners (previous studies were shod runners taking off their shoes and running barefoot for , in many cases, the first time.

  2. … and of course, those of us running barefoot, knew all along, that it was gentler. It has to be. Running barefoot, while slamming your foot into a hard surface hurts, so instead of looking for a softer surface, we soon learn not to slam our foot into the ground.

  3. This would make a lot more sense if you ran barefoot on non-artificial surfaces. Mud and grass is a lot softer than solid concrete. Shoes are a protective barrier. Also t achieve greater sprinting speeds runners are better off striking their heels on the ground, while i agree for something like the marathon barefoot can be reasonable, sprinters need the additional support of shoes.

  4. In short;
    Nothing natural about running on any surface in shoes.
    Rock is natural, and as hard as concrete.
    Our feet are supposed to support us.
    Artificial support protects us from exercise.

    There are many nerve endings in our soles, protecting us from damaging our body (not only our feet) by letting us know when we are running dangerously. Nerves in the soles are the idiot lights for our body.

    Protecting the soles lets us continue in deceptive comfort. Literally, running senselessly!

  5. Sprinting the same concepts apply – I've addressed the support already…

    Think of traction control in your car. You can put thicker tires on the car to protect them from wearing out while spinning out, skidding, and sliding around corners. But, these actions also put excess strain on the rest of the car.

    OR you can drive intelligently… The fellow squealing his tires isn't necessarily accelerating, or going faster than the car with intelligent traction control, it just sounds faster!

  6. If you have ever seen track sprint spikes, you will realize that sprinters do NOT land on there heels. That is why the spikes are only on the toe and forefoot.

  7. I couldn't agree more with Ken Bob. I'm only 17 but I've been running for almost 4 years now. I easily have more than 2000+ miles logged with shoes but there really is nothing like running barefoot. It's a big transition yes, but once you get the technique (or really lose the technique we're sort of forced into with shoes) it's a whole new experience, so pure and natural. It just feels right!. I'm so glad I was introduced to this at such a young age and I encourage others to try it out!

  8. The point is: None of the respected worldwidely sprinters use shoes with heel support for impact. Those things are practically slices of rubber with bolts for friction with the paving.

  9. It's just sad that barefoot running requires such a large investment … of faith in the design of the human body…

    People prefer to invest their faith in hundreds, even thousands of dollars of shoes, inserts, orthotics, etc. with all the advertising gimmicks and promises, rather than simply taking off their shoes and listening to what they're bare soles have been wanting to tell them for years. It's not like you can never wear shoes again if a reasonable test of barefooting doesn't work!

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