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Dr. Craig Richards: A Call For Independent Shoe Testing

Barefoot Jason has asked us to help spread the word!

“This is a quickly-developing story. The details are a bit sketchy, but the news was too exciting to pass up.

Recently Zero Drop posted a quote from Simon Bartold of Asics. This led to a spirited debate, which was continued on Runblogger. I mentioned the debate in my last post.

As a result of these debates, Dr. Craig Richards of Hunter Gait and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Barefoot Running, offered to conduct independent testing of shoes if manufacturers were willing to submit the shoes.

The details of the testing is one of the details I’m still working on, but Dr. Richards hinted that he will be measuring differences in shoe design on injury rates and performance.

I cannot begin to describe the tingle of excitement I experienced when I read his email. This is exactly the type of study us minimalist shoe runners have been calling for since I started doing this years ago.

This is the ultimate “put up or shut up” clinical trial. Independent testing by a barefoot runner using a clinical trial model… it doesn’t get any better than this.

Here’s the catch- shoe manufacturers have to be willing to submit their shoes.

This alone should be a telling move by various manufacturers. Those that truly buy into the principles of the minimalist movement and genuinely believe they’re producing a product that lives up to those principles will accept the challenge immediately. They will welcome the opportunity to let their shoes shine.

Transparency.

Those that are in this just to make a buck or know they are producing a sub-standard “minimalist shoes” may hesitate or even reject the offer. They won’t want anyone to pull back the curtain and reveal their true selves.

Secrecy.

The interesting question comes from companies like Asics. Does Simon Bartold have the balls to submit the shoes he so passionately defends? Is Asics prepared to allow independent testing of their shoes next to some of the best minimalist shoes in the world? What about the other big dogs? Will Brooks, Reebok, and Nike follow suit?

With enough public pressure, Dr. Richards should get most of the companies on-board. If the shoe manufacturers really believe in their products, there should be absolutely no hesitation.

YOU CAN HELP BY DOING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Re-post this message anywhere and everywhere (Facebook, Twitter, your blog, forums… anywhere to let people know what Dr. Richards is doing.
  2. If you know of ANYONE that works for a shoe company, send this message to them. Word spreads fast internally.
  3. If you have a blog that is in any way related to running, write a post about the clinical trials. Again, the goal is to get a swelling of support that will compel companies to submit their shoes.”

For Jason’s Response check out his post - Click Here

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