Cul de Sac (4/27/11)

A few weeks ago, I started reading Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superatheletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. Aside from being hugely entertaining, it’s given me new insight into footwear, particularly athletic shoes. I’ve never bought the latest, most outlandish pairs of sneakers, and now I see my thriftiness has been medically prudent. The heroes of McDougall’s book, a group of fanatical and thoroughly insane ultrarunners, wear shoes so threadbare that they barely cushion their feet from impact. Some of the runners even go barefoot. What’s fascinating is that their feet get stronger because their simple shoes don’t interfere with the natural motion of running. I’ve spent the last two years bumming around in a pair of ratty New Balance sneakers. Who knew I was saving my feet by being too cheap to replace them?

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