The Zuckster's been getting some heat by tech pundits for maintaining his dorm-room slacker-fashion sense while Facebook is in the process of having its company stock going public. When it does, this will make Mark Zuckerberg an insanely wealthy individual. Forbes magazine estimates that with an IPO target price between $28 and $35 a share, the black-hoodie-and-Adidas sandal-wearing Facebook founder's net worth will be around $15 billion. So why does he dress like a window-smashing Seattle anarchist intent on overthrowing the capitalist system instead of obediently playing the part as a member of the 1% of the 1%? His anti-fashion statement doesn't seem to matter all that much to the several hundred million daily FB users or the daytraders and hedge fund managers who are lining up at the IPO trough. The late Steve Jobs made the black-mock turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance running shoes his undeniable fashion signature. Well, Zuck has managed to take Silicon Valley casual-wear down a notch. So if you want to know what's it's like to walk in the shoes of one of the richest persons on the planet, be prepared to shell out $30 for these open-toed Adidas sandals. You can buy them here on Amazon!
We all know that the term "barefoot shoe" is a tiresome self-contradiction, just like other popular expressions such as "non-alcoholic beer," "near miss," and "deafening silence." And so when footwear companies jumped on the barefoot bandwagon, purists rightly objected to the oxymoronic/marketing hype. "You can't wear shoes and say you're barefoot!" Well, with barefoot and minimalist running these days, nothing is what it seems. Now you can create Fake Overshoes that allow you to wear shoes and still remain barefoot. Better yet, you can proudly walk right past those red-and-white store signs by the front door that says, "No shoes, no service." The shod set won't pay you a moment's notice! To make your own pair of treadless trump de 'loeil footwear, Instructables.com provides detailed instructions and a helpful PDF. You will need, however, to have some tools such as a hacksaw and Dremel device. Then like Bob Dylan sings in I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, "Just get your shoes on, do not fear."
Temperatures in the 80s put a distinctive stamp on the 2012 Boston Marathon, with the heat taking its toll on the field of 22,000 finishers. According to numbers compiled by race officials, nearly 2,100 cramping and weary runners were treated in the three air-conditioned medical tents stationed along the course and at the finish line. Over 150 runners were rushed to hospitals, though none fortunately were in life-threatening conditions. Even many of the elite frontrunners DNF’d. Last year’s record-breaking winner Geoffrey Mutai dropped out after 18 miles with stomach cramps. The video here shows back-of-the-packers bravely soldiering onward in the heat. Forget PRs! This was all about survival! (For the best ways to stay properly hydrated (and avoid water intoxication) during a marathon, go here to this excellent article by Dr. Phil Maffetone on the Natural Running Center website.)
The prankish creative masterminds at ImprovEverywhere, whose YouTube videos include "No Pants Subway Ride" and "Slo-mo Home Depot," have struck again. Their latest imaginative foray into f--king with strangers' minds was stocking a New York City park with eight sets of identical quadruplets, creating a quasi-hallucinatory experience for anyone who happened to be walking through the park.
A recent viral-y video wants you to believe that skipping is destined to be the next great American health craze. Well, actually, the video is dated, harking back to the late 1980s and featuring a Village People-looking Bill Martinelli, aka "The Skipper," who merrily skipped up and down the East Coast, making motorists' heads swivel, capturing news headlines, and even appearing on The Today Show. Martinelli, who honed his craft in North Carolina, maintained that skipping is a much better workout than running. Here's an excerpt from a 1988 profile of The Skipper in the Miami Herald: “I think by perfecting skipping I have discovered a better way to move across the Earth,” he says, comparing his breakthrough to “the discovery of walking by Homo erectus.” (He also compares his skipping to the footwork of his idol, Muhammad Ali.) Before perfecting his method, he tried to set a distance record by skipping a marathon, but “his socks were filled with blood from the abrasions caused by the friction of skipping.” He began to refer to non-skippers as “the humans.”
As for the right way to skip, Martinelli says in the video that you don't want to slide along the belly of the foot like the way you were taught to do as a kid. Instead, you want to land lightly on your midfoot and push off. Hey, that sounds a lot like natural running! Go to 1:25 in the video for a demo. And check out the old Nikes and ASICS.
It wasn't supposed to end this way for ultrarunning legend Micah True. Certainly not during a routine 12-mile trail run in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. But when he didn't return from his morning run, and then when search and rescue teams, including a plane, helicopter, and dogs later got involved in the operation to find the missing True who was the centerpiece of Christopher McDougall's Born to Run, the news spread quickly around the world, and not just among runners. On Friday, The New York Times reported his disappearance, less than a month after the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, of which True was the race director. His body was finally located over the weekend. According to the Associated Press, "he was found near a cold stream, his legs still in the water and his water bottle next to him, about a mile southeast of the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Crews recovered his body Sunday and turned it over to the Office of the Medical Investigator, State Police Lt. Robert McDonald said. The cause of death was not yet known. There were no obvious signs of trauma, and McDonald said it could take a couple of days before authorities know what happened."
His death comes as a shock, really, to all us, many of whom only know him from Born to Run. Read more about Micah True on the Natural Running Center.
Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Vibram FiveFingers for Misleading Consumers That Its Shoes Provide “Health Benefits of Barefoot Running”
Berman DeValerio, one of the country's premier class action law firms focused on business litigation, has recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Vibram and Vibram FiveFingers in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. The complaint seeks a jury trial on the grounds that Vibram is making "false" health claims about its product. These "deceptive" claims include the following: "that the barefoot footwear concept improves posture and foot health, reduces injury risk, strengthens muscles in feet and lower legs, and promotes spine alignment." The entire legal document is reproduced below.
But first a few things. Vibram isn't the first shoe company to be in the legal hot seat. Earlier this month, a Baltimore product liability lawyer filed a Skechers ‘Shape-Ups’ Class-Action Lawsuit that "seeks money damages for consumers who paid a “premium price” for Skechers “Shape-Ups” based on TV, print and Internet ads that touted the toning shoes’ health benefits." The complaint further states that "Skechers is currently being investigated for its toning shoes marketing claims" -- it would provide health benefits 'without setting foot in a gym'--by the Federal Trade Commission. In September, the FTC reached a $25 million settlement with Reebok for making similar fitness claims about its own brand of toning shoes." CONTINUE READING THE FULL LEGAL COMPLAINT AGAINST VIBRAM/VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS
Spoiler alert (sorta): the answer is found on the contributors' section in the front of the magazine, so Zero Drop recommends you buy a copy of the April issue of Running Times, or if you are a subscriber, check the page again. Another alternative is to go here: those deeply-muscled 45-year-old legs belong to the co-founder and executive director of the Natural Running Center. Last fall, he won the Air Force marathon outright in 2:38. The secret to his age-defying success: mastering the art of natural running, doing most of his training barefoot, and practicing good running form and drills. Nor is it the first time that his legs have been used as a "model". The logo for the Natural Running Center was based on a photo of him while he was posed in the same iconic Jim Fixx stance that appeared on the cover of his best-selling book in the late 70s. Running Times went with the same retro idea-- an homage to a time when running shoes were a lot like today's minimal shoes: flat-soled, non-bulky, less heel-to-toe drop, more flexible.
To Running Times' credit, they have been instrumental in getting the word out about minimalism and minimalist running shoes. Nor is the April cover story its first that's focused on minimalism. Editor-in-chief Jonathon Beverly cogently explains the magazine's ongoing interest in the topic:
This year marks the third time we’ve dedicated a cover to the concept of minimal shoes. On the past two April issues we showed a barefoot runner (2010) and a runner in a pair of the second generation, more mainstream minimal shoes (2011)...Why another issue on minimalism? Haven’t we heard enough? Frankly, yes, we’ve heard enough of unsubstantiated claims, personal testimonials and gurus calling us to give all our shoes to the poor, be born again as minimal runners and come and follow them. We’ve also heard enough reactionary responses from old-guard podiatrists, coaches and athletes.Over the past five years, minimal shoes have gone from an option to a fad to a religion, polarizing the discussion. As often happens in religion, adopting minimalism has become about adherence to the sacred tenets of the cult (different for every guru, of course), which has obscured the end goal: to run faster, farther and longer without injury
Stepping away from the “ism,” what appears clear from research is that the best runners run with a light, efficient stride similar to how barefoot kids the world over run naturally. Also increasingly borne out with research is that wearing less structured shoes (lower heel-to-toe drop, more flexible, less material between the foot and the ground) can encourage this type of stride, if you’re able to handle such shoes.What’s been lacking from this discussion is much meaningful guidance on that last “if” — short of trying new shoes and getting injured, how do you know if you’re ready to go minimal? And, if you want to get more ready, what can you do to improve? Furthermore, what injuries are common to those who are transitioning to minimal, and how can you avoid them? This is what we’re hoping to contribute to the topic this issue, in a series of reasoned articles that avoid the religious rhetoric and the debate and guide you to better running.
One day in the not so distance future, it will be man-made animals chasing down humans for dinner or sport, thus reversing the natural order of things, when Early Man developed into a running species through persistence hunting.The robot Cheetah in this video demo was developed by Boston Dynamics of Waltham, Mass and with funding by DARPA, the semi-mysterious R&D arm of the U.S. government. According to the lab's website, "Cheetah's movements are patterned after those of fast-running animals in nature. The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does." While cheetahs in the wild can reach a land-speed of 60 mph, the mechanical one can only go 18 mph, but that was nearly 5 mph faster than the former record for robots that was set in 1989.
Part raunch, part satire, this parody video of a running shoe launch called "Blades" is over-the-top and a gentle ribbing of the late Steve Jobs, whose cinematic presentation of an Apple product unveiling was legendary. In this video, we see a foul-mouthed, dirty-minded Kenny Powers, the MoFo CEO of K-Swiss, introduce K-Swiss Blades, the "fastest shoe you've ever seen." The Eastbound & Down star explains that lots of "R & DD" went into development of these shoes —including cheetahs, NFL all-pro linebacker Patrick Willis, ballistic missiles, Bruce Lee, and hot-tubbing moon maidens. Watch for Willis chasing down a wildebeest on the African plains beginning around 2:07.
Comic mastermind Steven Sashen has hit LOL-paydirt again with his follow-up video to “Sh*t Barefoot Runners Say.” In this sequel, the founder of Invisible Shoes examines “Sh*t Runners Say to Barefoot Runners.” Zero Drop gives this really, really funny video Two Big Toes Up!
A simple answer to this question is: "yes." Orthotics are an all-too easy crutch for runners. And Zero Drop uses the C word in more ways than one. In most cases, orthotics don't strengthen or protect the foot. They make it atrophy. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments get weaker. So why is the Big O such an obsession for countless injury-prone runners? The slightest plantar fascia twinge, and Mr. Fretful Runner has his podiatrist on speed dial, demanding an appointment that same day so a customized orthotic can be made. The foot never gets to properly heal. Yet making orthotics the default for runners is not all their fault. Shoe and insert companies have a huge financial stake here, as do a majority of podiatrists. They have a big barking dog in this fight. HMO's cover the cost of most orthotics. Yet nature, if given a chance, is a much more effective healer. With that said, Zero Drop and Sock Doc have put together a top ten list of why you should avoid orthotics if you really care about your feet. Caveat: some extreme foot deformities or injuries do require the assistance of orthotics. But c'mon, for millions of runners and walkers? There's nothing natural about these artificial accoutrements. For more on the subject, go to this post on Sock Doc's website. You will be surprised by what you will read.
Your HMO covers the cost of orthotics despite their inability to ever allow you to run pain-free. How can you pass up these savings?
Along with stretching, you have read that the best way to stay injury-free is to have a running shoe with additional internal support so that your feet are well-protected.
You stand on a concrete or wood floor all day long and some unenlightened foot doctor or television infomercial convinced you that hard flat surfaces will wreck your feet and lead to leg and back pain.
You're interested in dampening or desensitizing your nervous system and if the orthotics prove so successful, you hope to speed this non-kinesthetic progress by wearing oven mitts when you are at the computer.
If you are on the short side, your vanity won't allow you to wear elevator lifts, so you settle for the several millimeters advantage from orthotics.
You read online somewhere that the new carbon graphite orthotics are lighter and more aerodynamic than those "old wooden models."
You're almost sure you saw a cheetah wearing a set of tree-bark orthotics on some Animal Planet show and since they're the fastest animal in the world...
Orthotics were found in the fossil record 5,000,000 years ago.
(For triathletes) Would you show up for a bike ride with kiddie training wheels?
Your back aches so you spend all day in a back brace; so why not wear a foot brace when you have foot pain?
It's the first time Zero Drop has ever heard of a shoe being described by its manufacturer as a "vertical assault weapon." Made by Danner, the DFA shoe is SWAT-friendly, which means it's what you want to be wearing when kicking down a drug-dealer's barricaded front door, or rappeling down from a helicopter. With its formidable hexagonal low lug outsole, propioception is greatly diminished though with crashing to the ground from a roped-in descent, a gentle and natural footstrike is always an iffy proposition. As for being a vertical assault weapon, the shoe is ideal if you run out of ammo; just remove the shoe, take aim, and throw the sucker at your assailant Watch one of the most bizarre footwear videos...
It's gotten to be old news. Nike introduces or re-introduces a much-in-demand high-top sneaker. Word gets out. Footwear fans flock to the Foot Locker at the local mall. Demand exceeds supply. Fights break out. Cops are called in. Story makes the evening news. Well, it happened again at a Baltimore area mall last weekend when Nike’s new Foam tennis shoe caused a near-riot inside the mall. In the past, it's been the Air Jordans that caused fights to occur. But now it's a tennis shoe made with a substance called "foamposite" and that goes for $200 (but online, at least double that amount). The Footlocker at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown, Maryland, only had 90 pairs in stock; they were snapped up in minutes. Some of the empty-handed, unhappy customers yanked out their knives. About a dozen cops were required to keep the peace. Just Do It almost became Just Loot It.
Ready to shell out $1,495 for a pair of zero-drop sneakers? Known for its signature red-lacquered soles and stilettos, French footwear icon Christian Loubertain is a favorite among Hollywood actresses. Loubertain-mania is now being experienced by men. Their obscenely overpriced sneakers are always selling out at places like Barneys and Nordstroms. There's even a wait list for these sneakers for suckers. Some of these men-only Loubertrains go for $2,500. Do you wear them only indoors, at fashion events, or the local triathlon to totally psyche out our age-group foes? "Hey, dude, my running shoes cost more than your carbon-fiber bike!" This spring, Loubertain plans to open its first men's store in New York City. What recession?
Sock Doc is anti-stretching. In the following list, he gives his reasons why. Zero Drop tends to agree with him. A number of recent sports medicine studies have called into question the efficacy of stretching for runners, especially before going for a run; in fact, it can lead to injuries since the body's muscles and tissues aren't sufficiently warmed up. A runner would much better benefit from a 10-15 minute pre-workout walk. Dr. Phil Maffetone has an excellent essay here on why runners shouldn't stretch. Nonetheless, old habits die hard; runners love to stretch because it's what their junior high gym teacher had them do at the beginning of each class.--ZD
10 Reasons Why Runners Should Not Stretch
* Stretching is exercise for the muscles like sea water is hydration for the body. When you're desperate for relief, it feels so right but only makes things worse.
* All athletes, especially runners, are so passionate about stretching. They defend it like their political association, religion, or family. I think many of them may have pictures of their kids in their wallets doing all types of cool stretches that they show their coworkers every day at the water cooler.
*Runners will follow any trend they think will make them run faster. Whether it's a new supplement, pair of socks, pair or shoes, custom orthotics, or stretching. They're the first in line for the Kool-Aid.
*Stretching is a conditioned behavior, not one we are innately born with. I see my kids run, jump, climb, throw things, and carry objects of all sizes. They move well, and efficiently. I've never seen them stretch. Their developing nervous systems know better.
*The day I see my dog holding a stretch is the day I'll start stretching too.
*Flexibility is a reflection of overall health and fitness. Stretching does absolutely nothing for health or fitness. It's not exercise. It's not a warm-up or a cool-down. And it definitely doesn't substitute for restful sleep or a wholesome diet.
*Yoga is not stretching. Stretching is not yoga. Enough of that claim.
*Make sure you stretch if you want to weaken muscles, promote injuries, decrease performance, delay tissue healing, and have absolutely way too much free time.
*Stretching reduces injuries and improves endurance performance just like certain shoes will make you run or jump faster. Neither claim is true.
*I enjoy watching runners stretch. They must stretch because they think they will run faster. I bet they believe in Sasquatch too.
We all know that driving drunk or text-messaging behind the wheel is a very bad idea, leading to an increase in traffic accidents and fatalities. But did you know that walking drunk is even more dangerous than driving drunk? In a recent Freakonomics radio podcast, Steve Levitt disclosed that "for every mile walked drunk, turns out to be eight times more dangerous than the mile driven drunk. To put it simply, if you need to walk a mile from a party to your home, you’re eight times more likely to die doing that than if you jump behind the wheel and drive your car that same mile."
This doesn't mean you should tool around town in your car if you feel like W.C. Fields. Levitt looked at data from 2009. He found that "about 34,000 people died in traffic accidents. Roughly half of them were drivers — 41 percent of whom were drunk. There were more than 4,000 pedestrians killed — and 35 percent of them were drunk. Of course, a drunk walker can’t hurt or kill someone else the way a drunk driver can, and people drive drunk much farther distances than they’d walk drunk."
And no surprise here with a new report by the journal Injury Prevention that found that January 1 is the deadliest day for pedestrians.
A six-minute compilation of clips of running scenes from some of your favorite movies and television shows. Produced by Zero-Drop.com
Dr. Mark Cucuzzella and Two Rivers Treads want your old, and they mean really old, running shoes for their new "Shoeseum" that will originally be housed in the Shepherdstown, West Virginia store. Vintage sneakers from the 60s and 70s are especially wanted (flat-sole, thin treads, lightweight, little cushioning). This makes one think how running has come full-circle, at least for the minimalist and barefoot-lifestyle set. Look through your closets, attics, basements. Perhaps you have old running shoes lurking there, forgotten and unused all this time. The Shoeseum is also interested in getting their hands on running footwear from the 80s and 90s, when shoe design evolved into an annual contest of "bigger is better" and the birth of new space-age materials, monster heel crash pads, rigid footbeds, and gargantuan cushiony treads.
Here's where to send your shoes-- and where they will be happy in their new home: Two Rivers Treads PO Box 1661 107 W. German St. Shepherdstown WV 25443 phone: 304-876-1100
In 1979, Berkeley filmmaker Les Blank took on a new project: making a documentary of acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog eating his shoe. The film came about because of a bet Herzog had once made to Errol Morris that he (Herzog) would eat his shoe if Morris ever actually made his own film. Provoked into action, Morris soon directed "Gates of Heaven," (the first of many of his visually arresting movies), and Herzog, who kept his word, returned to Berkeley to consume one of his desert boots at the U.C. Theater. Here's a short clip. Bon appetit.