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Barefoot Running: The Great Debate

by Kat » on Feb 04, 2013 1

The Vibram FiveFingers fan base is extremely loyal. We all feel like our lives have been changed (almost unanimously) for the better by switching to a minimalist shoe. But, the data surrounding minimalist running shoes seem to indicate something new every day.

Some studies conclude that barefoot running is the natural way to move and the cure to all physical ailments. In fact, many fitness experts denounce global shoe companies for pushing stability monstrosities on athletes and destroying their bodies. But, there is additional evidence that running in barefoot or in minimalist shoes could be contributing to running injuries rather than preventing them as more recent research suggests.

We compiled a list of five articles that discuss both the merits of minimalist running and the disadvantages. Ultimately, these simply illustrate how much we have yet to learn.

Reading Material

New York Times
Is There One Right Way to Run?

Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners

Runner’s World
Do Minimalist Shoes Really Simulate Barefoot Running?
Biomechanics of Barefoot Running and their Implications for Running Injuries

The Huffington Post
Barefoot Running Injuries: Doctors See Health Problems Ranging From Stress Fractures To Pulled Calf Muscles

Food for Thought

Now that you’ve read some of the literature on the subject, how do you feel about barefoot or minimalist running? Will you stick with your current running regimen or make some changes?

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

1 Comment

  1. Taylor says:

    Just bought a pair of Vibram Spyridon’s online and am really looking forward to trying them out. My wife and I recently switched our diet to eating Paleo and that’s been going great. I lift heavy 5 days a week and I was messing up my good running shoes so I’ve been looking for some new shoes to lift in. I decided on the Vibram’s as I’ve wanted a pair for a long time because I think they look freakin comfortable and because some folks in the Paleo world swear by them to lift in, as a lot of those folks do Crossfit. Needless to say, very appreciative for the info present on this site and definitely for the articles posted here. Seems like the big takeaway is to make sure and ease into using them. I’m mainly just lifting in them so that shouldn’t be a problem.

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