Another study has been published suggesting that minimalist runners experience fewer running injuries. Just a few short years ago, there was no scientific evidence that running barefoot or minimalist could help you prevent injuries. If anything, the thought seemed ludicrous. Yet here we sit, with a new study that notes that runners in traditional shoes are getting injured nearly 3.5x more than those wearing minimalist shoes.
Posts Tagged ‘minimalist’
New research shows that landing on your forefoot while running makes you nearly 2.5% more efficient and can reduce injuries by up to 50%.
I spend a lot time writing about running shoes. I’m not what you’d call a “big fan” of the modern, traditional shoe. Even though I am not a barefoot runner (I prefer a minimalist shoe without a heel lift), people who run barefoot usually run with proper form. Not always, but most of the time they have to by necessity. I truly believe people who heel strike are just begging to get injured, and if you heel strike in your bare feet – let me just call a doctor for you right now.
The Minimalist Solution
As the running shoe industry blossomed in the 1970’s and 80’s, the difference between the heel and the front of the shoe started to creep up. Fast forward to now, running shoes have heels rising up to 15 millimeters above the front of the shoe. It’s not exactly a four-inch high heel, but if you take a look at the average running shoe, you’ll notice there is a pretty steep incline from front to back.
In the last few years, a new kind of running shoe has become popular. It’s known as the minimalist, or barefoot shoe (For my purposes, I’m going to treat them as separate styles, although the niche is new and some refer to the two terms interchangeably.) Most minimalist shoes have up to a 5 millimeter rise, toe-to-heel, although some have none. True barefoot shoes always have none, hence the name “zero drop”. Now, I’m generalizing a bit with the previous numbers because there are exceptions, but generally, the rule you should follow is the closer you can get to having a flat shoe, the better.
So you’ve decided you need some new running shoes?
Most people keep using running shoes way after they’ve broken down. And most people will tell you that this is because the cushioning wears out. That’s true, but it’s not as big of a deal as you’ve been led to believe. If it were, every single barefoot runner would get injured so often that the movement wouldn’t exist.