Mini Podcast – Barefoot Running 003: Gloves

Take a listen or read a little first.

Bare Feet Provide Information And Allow Easier Movement

Just a quick thought I’ve pictured in my head, but had never put down before. Putting shoes on your feet – which are amazingly great information receptors – is like putting gloves on your hands. Sure there are times that it is appropriate: if your are playing hockey or lacrosse, you protect your hands in a way that prioritizes protection from blunt force trauma over precise sensitivity. However, when you need your hands to do something precise like threading a needle you need the sensitivity for reception as well as for performing actions with fine control.

Am I threading needles with my bare feet when I run?

Of course not. But when I go for a run, I am also not in much danger of getting my feet rolled over or banged up. (People somehow picture this being a possibility, but those things would hurt WITH running shoes on, and shod runners don’t worry about it either.)

Acrobats Don’t Wear Gloves When They Walk On Their Hands

The point is that, when I run, I am somewhere in the middle. Picture someone who has the ability to get into a handstand and walk on their hands. She would opt to forego gloves because she needs her sensitive receptors for input as well as the ability to control all of the muscles, joints, and bones to help her keep their balance. She uses her arms, shoulders, and core to do all of the heavy lifting, but if you put her in gloves that constrained her hands from splaying out correctly, feeling the ground beneath her, and even shifted the weight off of the palm of her hand with high-tech fan and air bubbles, you would be making it harder for her.

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