The marathon is really a hard distance to run; it is 26.2 miles of hard running. It's hard on the body, particularly the feet which is why all marathon runners spend such a lot of attention to what is on their feet. Marathoners invest a lot of time finding the right shoe and plenty of money is associated with running shoes. Back at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, the Ethiopian, Abebe Bikala showed up for the marathon where there were no shoes remaining in the teams kit that would fit him, so he ran the marathon without shoes and won the gold medal. This is often commonly praised as a extraordinary achievement. In recent years there's been a group of runners that are suggesting the running footwear is not all they're promoted to be and are advocating that running ought to be done barefoot, the same as nature intended. After all, we were not given birth to with footwear and historical humans simply had to run large distances without running shoes to stay alive as animals had to be hunted on foot over long distances.

Athletic shoes are actually only a quite recent creation. Those who advocate the barefoot method of running like to point out the achievements of Abebe Bikala as further validation that we don't need running shoes. There are certainly a great many other arguments both for and against barefoot running, with not much scientific data supporting it. Whilst Abebe Bikala getting the gold medal at the Rome Olympics without running shoes certainly suggest that it is possible, what those who like to tout his triumphs as proof often omit that he subsequently went on to get the gold medal and also break the world record in the marathon at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games. Abebe Bikala managed to set the world record on this occasion wearing running shoes; in other words he could actually run faster when he was using running shoes. We might well have evolved to run without footwear, but we also evolved in an surroundings ahead of concrete and hard surfaces came along. While the successes of him were extraordinary, making use of him as proof that it is better doesn't stack up to critique.