Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Research On Barefoot Running Versus Minimalist Shoes

New Research on Barefoot Running Versus Minimalist Shoes


Well, based on this new research, minimalist shoes are just that, minimalist versions of running shoes, and not simulators of barefoot running. In a new article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers looked at the running mechanics of 20 trained runners as they ran barefoot, in minimalist shoes, and in regular running shoes. They found that there was only a significant difference between barefoot running and running in shoes - minimalist or not. The difference occurs in the amount of work done at the knee and ankle joints. So, it appears that there is no real difference between regular running shoes and minimalist shoes, at least in terms of running mechanics, but there is a significant difference in one's running mechanics if they run barefoot. I don't run barefoot, but I have certainly enjoyed slowly moving towards lighter and more "minimal" trail shoes recently. I guess the question is, is running in "minimalist" shoes really a separate category, or is there really only two categories - barefoot or shod?

This super cold weather is slowly getting to me. It was -22F this morning, and I just didn't have the motivation to run (and skiing was out of the question as you can't slide when it is that cold). So, I opted for the 15 x 15 treadmill challenge again. I've done this challenge twice, each time suffering as I banged out only 1.27 miles (PR at 9,000'). As I've cut back on my running here over the last month or so, I was interested in seeing just how much I would suffer. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was not too far down on my fitness, managing 1.21 miles at 9,000'. Looking forward to start ramping up come February.

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