Now, I’m not suggesting that if you put on a pair of traditional running shoes, your IQ will go down, you won’t get into the college of your choice, or you won’t be able to fill out a tax form or a crossword puzzle. But, I’m going to talk about two other kinds of stupidity.

And when I talk about traditional running shoes, traditional is sort of a funny word to use because what most people think of as a running shoe, thick, padded, motion control, arch support, elevated heel, things like that. Frankly, that’s actually not traditional. For most of human history, we ran in shoes that looked frankly more like the minimalist shoe, just enough to protect you from the ground and hold that protection onto your foot.

So what I’m talking about with traditional running shoes… And here’s one of the ways they make you dumber, because they have all that cushioning, which we think we need, we think. Well, Cushing is good, because running must be hard on the joint, so we need cushioning, right? Well, it’s a great idea, but the reality is, it doesn’t work that way at all, because when you have all that cushioning, there are a number of things that happen, one, you tend to land harder because your brain is trying to get feedback from the ground, and with all that questioning, you can’t feel it. You have more nerve endings in the sole of your feet then anywhere but your fingertips and your lips. That’s so that your brain knows how to use the rest of your body correctly.

So if you make it dumb by making it numb, sometimes you’ll land harder just to get that feedback that you need for balance and agility, but of course with all that extra padding, you don’t have the balance with all that extra height, you don’t have the balance.

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