Is It Your Civic Duty to Keep Your Sidewalk Clean for Barefoot Runners?

arefoot running is up for public debate again. The barefoot running saga that is about to play out for you was initiated by a maniacal neighbor and/or ruthless troll. It started with a Facebook post in a private group called “I Love NE Minneapolis,” which was screenshotted and tweeted by one of its members. Enjoy.
It was also brought to Twitter’s attention that this runner previously “gained notoriety” for a post about competitive unicycling, which has all the signs of troll behavior. But if he is indeed a barefoot runner looking to protect his precious callused feet, does he have a point? Should you, as a homeowner and member of civilized society, bear the burden of sweeping debris from the sidewalk so his soles can can land safely? Or do you have science’s blessing to tell all barefoot runners to go to hell? Let’s dig in.

This podiatric journey starts with a shoe: Vibram’s FiveFinger running shoe, introduced in 2005. You remember the one:

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COURTESY

That shoe, besides serving as a giant douchebag warning sign, carried the idea that its unique, cushion-less design decreased foot injuries and strengthened muscles. A few years later, a 2009 book called Born to Run touted the story of a Mexican tribe who ran extreme distances in nothing more than flimsy sandals. Scientists started studying the pros and cons of running without shoe support. The barefoot running craze was born.

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