Allison “TJ” Banks of Los Alamos, New Mexico writes,

Dear Ej,

Am I given to believe that you run barefoot? Haven’t you messed up your feet yet?

Allison

Hi Allison,
Nope, I haven’t messed up my feet. I fact in all the years I’ve been running without any real injury at all (except my toes are attracted to tables some days. Where does this idea that bare feet are insufficient to run come from?
Ej Meh

Dear Ej,

The world today is not the world of yester-millenium. We have concrete, asphalt, glass, needles, diseases, chemicals, rusted nails and other bad things on the ground. There are many good reasons to wear engineered shoes while exercising, not the least of which decades of scientific research. I urge you to consider protecting your feet.

Allison.

Dear Allison,
I haven’t actually seen many things that have concerned me much, these days. Concrete doesn’t bother me, asphalt can be a little hot, but I manage. I can see glass pretty well by its sparkling and smaller shards can’t penetrate my skin at any rate. I have never seen a needle, but I can’t imagine how I would step on that unless I ran in the dark for some reason (Dr. Ten Sing bought me a head light thingy on my last birthday). Same deal with the nails, I guess. Easily seen and avoided. I am unaware of any footborne diseases in my part of the world. Thanks, though.
Ej Meh

Dear Ej,

I do not wish to be rude or blunt, but I wish to point out that you are not educated. Podiatrists and other exercise experts have identified the root causes of the majority of running related injuries and they are related to physical defects of the unprotected human foot. Pronation must be corrected, arches must be supported, and the tendons should be aided in their function.

I like many of the things you write about in this blog, from your own personal history to your thoughts on our times, but your alleged barefoot running troubles me. You misinform and mislead many readers and runners into foolhardy attempts to “go paleo”. You need to stop.

Allison

Dear Allison,
I don’t really know what to say. Dr. Ten Sing has urged me to record and share what I see and what I know. I run for a living, I can’t move in boots. My feet just won’t work when they are squished. Maybe humans have changed into broken beasts of movement, but my body just doesn’t work that way. Plus, every animal I ever tried to stalk would hear me from ten kilometers away. I would starve!
Ej Mej

Dear Ej,

Just stop.

Allison

Dear Allison,
One thing I will never do is stop.
Ej Mej

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