Abebe Bikila was an athlete from Ethiopia who got the gold medal at Rome Olympics marathon on 10 September 1960 racing barefoot. He was a last minute addition to the squad and the coutries sponsor, Adidas, was lacking enough time to arrange running shoes for him. They had just had a couple of pairs remaining, of which neither fitted him. He made the decision he'd then do the the marathon without shoes. For the following Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, he once again won the marathon, but did it this time wearing running footwear and ran it faster. He died in 1973 at the age of 41 from complications from a car accident. He is honored and admired in Ethiopia having a stadium named after him.
Abebe Bikila carries a unique place in the background of marathon running, particularly with people who propose and publicize barefoot running because they hold him up as substantiation that the marathon might be run barefoot. Throughout the barefoot running community Abebe is a hero by having an just about god like popularity. There has been a craze a little while back for taking away running footwear and running without footwear. This fad was influenced by way of a great deal of web sites, message boards, publications and social media commentary as something that was favorable and superior for athletes. A number of unsubstantiated assertions appeared for barefoot running, probably none of which stood up to succeeding analysis. This novelty survived a couple of years, most likely peaking about 2013-14 with most likely about one fourth of runners attempting running barefoot or having a go at it in some form. The craze fairly quickly dropped off when almost all runners that tried it got an overuse injury or realized that it didn't live up to all the claims which got stated for it. This has now ended up banished towards the history books, with only a handful of serious barefoot running enthusiasts still doing it.
There is a great deal of research completed on barefoot running that those who like to promote and endorse barefoot running held this research up as evidence that barefoot running was much better. Nevertheless, the science never actually demonstrated that at all and it was greatly misinterpreted. All of the science proved has been that barefoot running was different to running in running shoes and this was all.