Your ancestors evolved barefoot
When you’re talking science, Darwin’s theory of evolution is taken less as a theory these days, and more as a fact – even by the Pope… So it’s an interesting paradox when those who make a living as scientists STILL cling fast to previously held beliefs that a runner needs cushioning underfoot, when for more than 99.5% of our evolutionary past we got by more adeptly than most modern-day athletes… barefoot. It would seem then that this belief system, which should now be obsolete, also has some way to evolve into the collective psyche – even of the scientists among us.
Commonly, arguments such as “Our ancestors didn’t evolve running on concrete” are thrown into the mixer, but with little meteorological or anthropological preparation; which would reveal that over the last 2 million years Africa, the cradle of mankind, has got progressively wetter, and that almost all hominid fossil finds have been in rocky, volcanic regions where our ancestors ran for ten’s of kilometers to chase down their prey. That’s right, our ancestors evolved running in a dryer, harder place than Africa is today, for distances greater than most recreational modern-day runners would consider; they ran barefoot over rock.
As quoted in the 2009 journalistic masterpiece, Born To Run, which is still number one in several categories on Amazon, the accomplished barefoot runner, Ted McDonald explained to the author Christopher McDougall “Humans didn’t invent rough surfaces, we invented the smooth ones. Your foot is perfectly happy molding itself around rocks.”
The new range of Vibram Fivefingers – possibly the only shoe on the market to allow your foot to mold around rocks - has also evolved to better meet the demands of the end-user, as has always been the case. The evolutionary story of the product is as unconventional and inverted as the shoe itself – with Vibram being completely unaware of the biomechanical benefits or applications of their footwear; producing it initially only as a niche sailing shoe.
After launch in 2006, with almost every month that passed, Vibram were being approached by experts in their fields to say “This is the perfect shoe for…” running; for yoga; for pilates; for coasteering; for CrossFit; for sprint training; for surfing; for strength conditioning; for mud racing, for rehabilitation… the list of uses coming back from non-sailing consumers just grew and grew and, resultantly, so did the Vibram Fivefingers range.
This summer season, the new range offers several new benefits, including a new even lighter-weight running style, the Bikila EVO with a unique Vibram-patented EVA/rubber compound in the sole; the KSO EVO – the latest, improved iteration of their best selling model, the KSO; the sleek VI-B in the women’s collection, and the award winning V-Classic golf range worn by some of the world’s best golfers – albeit behind closed doors…
For more information on the range, for interviews or to request a sample pair for review, please contact Matt Wallden on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01306 883 240