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I'm currently reading Born to Run[0] and they spend a couple of chapters discussing the history of running shoes and how they may be counterproductive. The main point being the Tarahumara (ancient running people) are the best distance runners on earth and they wear homemade sandals.

Looks like this[1] post goes into the debate, as framed by the book, but I'm on mobile and haven't read through it so YMMV.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Born-Run-Hidden-Superathletes-Greates...

[1] https://www.chrismcdougall.com/born-to-run/the-barefoot-runn...

> the Tarahumara (ancient running people) are the best distance runners on earth

Pretty sure the Kenyans, Ethopians, etc. might have a word or two to say about that.

More importantly, the emphasis in "may be counterproductive" should definitely be on the first word. Actual real-world results haven't matched the theory. Sure, there will always be someone to provide anecdata about how they switched to minimalist running shoes and it was great. The ones who switched to minimalist running shoes and either injured themselves or didn't see any benefit and switched back tend to talk a lot less. Statistically it's a wash, and ends up being pure personal preference. People who run poorly will improve exactly enough to make up for the difference in shoes, and no more.

I thought it was documented that Kenyans and Ethiopians benefited from steroids and EPO. It was all over the news the past decade or so.

Some Kenyans and Ethiopians have been caught using those drugs. So have some Americans, some Canadians, some Germans, some Chinese ... you get the idea. It's true of elite athletes in any country and any sport, just about. Generalizing from "some" to "all" for one group while ignoring prevalence of the same problem in other groups is not a good look. No suspicion has fallen on the folks who currently hold world records, won the last several major races, etc.

Some Russians too. Maybe all Russians.

Truth be told, I don't know and it matters very little to me. Yet I have read more than one article about Kenyans and hiding in the mountains from testers. Maybe it was propaganda, but I read it.

I have no dog in this fight. I'm sure Kenyans are great runners. Maybe the best.

> I have no dog in this fight.

No runner in this race? :D Merry Christmas.

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