As I’m sure many of our followers noticed, we posted a picture of Stephen Colbert on our Facebook page on Friday of him wearing a pair of Vibram FiveFingers (specifically the EL-X model). Although a funny shot for Colbert, it was actually a pretty exciting moment for us minimalist runners. Regardless of the countless times our “fad” (as Runner’s World recently called it) has been seen on TV, I still get excited when I hear them come up and have to run and look up whoever it is that’s talking about them!
Colbert is rocking the EL-X’s because during the interview portion of his show, he sat down with Dr. Daniel Lieberman, an advocate of long distance running, a professor in human evolutionary biology from Harvard University, and a barefoot runner. During the interview, Lieberman shared information about his research on the evolutionary biology of humans. They have found that there are five major things make humans special relative to other mammals (running, walking, chewing, throwing, and sweating), most of which are closely related to why we make the best long-distance runners, and, in many cases, natural hunters.
After finishing Lieberman’s chat with Colbert I found myself thinking of where else I’ve heard that name. So, I turned to the internet seeking answers on who this Lieberman character is. I first came across the following YouTube video:
…Which is when it hit me. Lieberman is actually one of the stars of (what we like to call) the minimalist bible: Born to Run. Although we often try to stay away from references to this book (mainly because the topic has been beaten to death), it was great to see it come up again (albeit indirectly) considering the recent decline in minimalist shoes sales. Hopefully this, along with some of the great commercials that have been coming out of New Balance and Altra will bring some strength back to the market. We still believe in what minimalist shoes have done for people, and hope that this recent dip in market share growth will be nothing more than a speed bump.