They were made by the husband of a close friend of mine, a crafty and fit guy who was very inspired by the 2009 bestseller Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, about an Indian tribe in Mexico who run long distances in similar low-tech footwear. A big part of the book is how human beings actually run better without the crazy foot support we’ve come to expect with conventional cushy running shoes.
[UPDATE: My friend's husband finally read this post and clarified he actually runs 5 to 6 miles in these shoes! He's a maniac!]
As far as I know, he hasn’t sustained any injuries because he’s already really fit and took his time acclimating to the new stripped down footwear.
There’s been some controversy abut the barefoot running trend because some runners, accustomed to running long distances in conventional shoes, try to cover similar ground too quickly in “barefoot running shoes,” which can lead to injury.
It kind of reminds me of the yoga trend….young, eager wannabe yogis (me) thinking they ought to be able to fly into a handstand or leap into crow pose because “yoga is good for you” yet lack sufficient muscle strength in the wrists to support their body weight, resulting in wear and tear on the joints. My right wrist will never be the same because of it.
Still, it’s pretty cool my friend’s husband made those shoes and actually runs in them. Cue the theme song for The Last of the Mohicans. (Come to think of it, he does sorta resemble Daniel Day Lewis….)