Why Do The Tarahumara Run So Well In Flat Huaraches?
Finding the perfect pair of running shoes can be quite a challenge. You often read reviews, get your feet measured, consider the way it looks, if it has enough support, etc. But, people have been running for years and they’ve never had the type of running technology that exists today. Take the Tarahumara people in Mexico who have been enduring 60-mile runs on simple flat sandals or huaraches, but how do they do it?
Harvard professor, biologist and runner, Daniel E. Lieberman wrote a paper called “Strike type variation among Tarahumara Indians in minimal sandals versus conventional running shoes” which explains how they run in these shoes with absolutely no support. “Tarahumara who wear huaraches have higher and stiffer arches than those who wear modern, supportive shoes,” he says. He believes that modern running shoes with stiff midsoles and arch support decrease the amount of work in the muscles of the foot. Years of running in these shoes, which is very similar to running shoeless has made their muscles and arches much stronger.