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Running Form at the 2010 Boston Marathon: Slow Motion Video of Barefoot, Minimalist, and Traditionally Shod Runners at sub-3:00 Pace

Posted on July 06 2011

Barefoot Shod RunnersEarlier today I was going through some video I have from the 2010 Boston Marathon with a goal of finding a clip of a barefoot runner (I knew I had one, but hadn’t put in the effort to sift through long stretches of video to find him). After a bit of searching, I found the video I was looking for (the picture above says a lot in and of itself – look at those feet!), and I decided to edit together a few clips that will give you a good sense of some of the variation we see in form as you move away from the elites.

All of the runners in the videos below were running at sub-3:00 pace at this point in the race (~mile 17.5, just before the turn from Washington St. onto Commonwealth Ave.), so all are very strong runners. Note that I intentionally cropped the videos so that heads would not be visible. I’m going to leave my commentary here to a minimum – just watch the videos and feel free to share your thoughts about what you see. I’ll follow up with similar video from a recreational level 5K in a few days. Have fun!

First, a clip showing a variety of shod runners, and one pretty darned strong barefoot runner (make the video full screen for a better view):

Next, a clip showing a variety of shod runners (make the video full screen for a better view):

Finally, a clip showing a runner in Vibram Fivefingers (make the video full screen for a better view):

For comparative purposes, here are the top six men passing the camera at the same race location (make the video full screen for a better view):

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