Last week a handful of friends stopped by the shop and we made our own leather sandals. What a blast! It just doesn’t get better than spending time with friends making stuff. The only thing we had to go on was the last pair of sandals I'd made, which had each sprung a nice hole through the sole. We progressed from there and each ended up making our own unique pair of sandals. It was great to witness so many creative processes realizing their own version of “sandals.”
During the two evenings, we talked a lot about sandals and foot wear. We discussed the arch support that shoes offer and wondered why it was necessary for us to be wearing such things. We were frequently told that it's important to have proper arch support, but we've been walking around for 100 000 years fine without them. We were left with a question:
There's been a lot of talk in the last number of years, especially after Christopher McDougall, published his bestseller "Born to Run," about just how necessary is arch support? Or even running shoes for that matter? On his journey into the Mexican Copper Canyons, he tells his story about meeting with the Tarahumara Indian running tribe, who commonly ran ultra distances of 100 miles or more well, without a training schedule, diet regime, who drink beer, run well into their senior years, apparently without injury and, and all without the "benefits" of shoes. McDougall has since gone barefoot running and claims to have been free of running related injuries since. There are also more and more studies coming out that suggest that the running shoe promotes an unnatural heel-strike, not normally present in barefoot running, which may be a major contributor of most of today's running injuries.