This is one of those pet peeves and annoyances. Arthur Lydiard was probably one of the greatest or most influential distance running coaches. I often see his name used in many ways and miss-quoted or have things credited to him that he did not say.

I knew Arthur Lydiard. I did some work with him. This means my ears pick up when people say what he might of thought of something related to running.

On running shoes I have seen him quoted as saying that minimalist running shoes are better. I seen it said that he would have supported barefoot running if he was around when that fad took hold. Wrong. He never said anything like that.

Here is what he wrote about running shoes:

In most of his books he advocated for the use of padding in running shoes to reduce impacts: “…check that they have good rubber soles that will protect you from the impact..” (pg 7; Run, the Lydiard Way; 1978) and “Well-rubbered shoes are essential to eliminate jarring effects” (pg 212; Run, the Lydiard Way; 1978). He also believed that forefoot strikers were “more susceptible to foot troubles” (pg 116; Run, the Lydiard Way; 1978) than those who flat-foot or heel strike. In an interview with the website RunWashington, he went on to say “We like flexible shoes, to let your foot function. Shoes that let your foot function like you’re barefoot – they’re the shoes for me, as long as they have some rubber underneath to alleviate the jarring.

Arthur Lydiard also collaborated with Converse and EB Brutting to make well padded running shoes. He was not a minimalist – he wanted padding in running shoes. He thought forefoot striking was problematic.