Yaks may help you run 'naturally'

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The fitness and functional shoe market has exploded and splintered into various trends promoting muscle toning, barefoot-style, and energy boost kicks in 2010.

The latest to hit the market is the Danish footwear company ECCO's BIOM A, made from Himalayan yaks' leather.

According to website SocialWorkout on September 22, ECCO, "physically scanning the feet of thousands of runners in an attempt to build a 'barefoot' style shoe that's rooted in real foot anatomy."

However the BIOM A is not for novices; ECCO recommends them for "serious runners" only in search of their proprietary "natural motion."

Vibram Five Fingers (€110) promises "positive health benefits - by leveraging all of the body's natural biomechanics, so you can move as nature intended."

Online gear reviews ( Outside magazine, SocialWorkout blog) are questioning if it's the most expensive sneaker to hit the market at $220. Perhaps, however in Europe the BIOM A costs €200 and the German trainer Lunge C-Dur rivals it in price.

The most expensive kicks come with a celebrity athlete's autographs, take a look at sports magazine Dime's May eBay list: http://dimemag.com/2010/05/top-5-most-expensive-sneakers-on-ebay/

To figure out what shoes are best for your running personality, go to: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/if-the-shoe-fits-run-2014620.html

If you have your heart set on yak kicks, check out BIOM B and BIOM C for fitness and occasional runners respectively: http://www.eccousa.com/shoes/biom/