Although a bit past the vigorous aspects, I enjoy your weekly
Body and Soul feature and applaud most of the material.
It is good to see the outdoors being advocated and used for
exercise more using natural materials and surfaces - not that
I want to run down gyms which gave me a living for long
enough - and to see more natural modes of exercise being
But what a pity then to have a photo published repeatedly of
one of the demonstrators running barefoot on grass with
Clearly hitting the ground hard with the part of the foot
least well adapted to absorb shock, promote gait stability
and provide useful and timely information to the runner's
nervous system about the ground surface.
Surprisingly, other photos show running on sand in sports
shoes when sand is one of the most useful surfaces for
Perhaps your writers could benefit from exploring the current
science and thinking on walking and running barefoot,
especially the work of Daniel E. Lieberman.
There is also an excellent reference available via the Otago
Medical School Library in The Human Foot: a
Companion to Clinical Studies by Leslie Klenerman
and Bernard A. Wood, (pub. Birkhauser, 2006, ISBN #
There are also numerous relevant websites for example but
beware zealots and hawkers who would promote competitive
barefoot running on hard surfaces like roads and footpaths.