‘Minimal’ shoes may reduce running injuries

Press Release:

Runners who wear trainers with no cushioning and land on the ball of their foot rather than the heel put significantly less demand on their bodies, new research suggests.

Researchers compared how quickly the force acts when runners’ feet hit the ground — known as the loading rate — which has been shown to influence running injury risk.

The study of 29 runners found significantly lower loading rates for those who wore so-called minimal trainers and landed on the ball of their foot, compared to people in normal running shoes, regardless of whether the latter landed on the heel or ball of the foot.

Lead author Dr Hannah Rice, of the University of Exeter, said: “So many people use running as a means of reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but about three quarters of runners typically get injured in a year.

“Footwear is easily modifiable but many runners are misguided when it comes to buying new trainers. “This research shows that running in minimal shoes and landing on the balls of your feet reduces loading rates and may therefore reduce the risk of injury.”

Running continues to grow in popularity, and research aimed at reducing the high incidence of running-related injuries has been ongoing for decades — but injury rates have not fallen.

Modern-day runners in cushioned footwear tend to land on their heel — known as a “rearfoot strike” — while those who run in the natural barefoot state are more likely to land on the ball of their foot – a “forefoot strike”.

Rearfoot strike runners experience an abrupt vertical impact force each time the foot lands on the ground. This impact force is often missing when running with a forefoot strike, but previous research has shown that forward/backwards and sideways forces can be higher with a forefoot strike, meaning the total force is similar.

Total force seems to be similar between foot strikes if wearing modern, cushioned trainers.

Dr Rice said: “This seems to suggest that, for runners in traditional, cushioned running shoes, foot strike pattern may not matter for injury risk.

“However, we suspected that the same may not be true of runners who regularly use minimal shoes, which don’t have the cushioning provided by traditional running shoes.

“Our research tells us that becoming accustomed to running with a forefoot strike in shoes that lack cushioning promotes a landing with the lowest loading rates, and this may be beneficial in reducing the risk of injury”

Any transition to new footwear or to a different foot strike pattern should be undertaken gradually, and with guidance.

Advertisement:

Bestseller No. 1
WHITIN Men's Trail Running Shoes Minimalist Barefoot 5 Five Fingers Wide Width Toe Box Gym Workout Fitness Low Zero Drop Male Sneakers Treadmill Free Athletic Ultra Black Size 11
  • A wide toe box lets your toes spread and relax.
  • Produced using animal free products and processes.
  • Removable sockliner (insole) if you want a “more barefoot” feeling.
  • True rubber sole provides great protection while still getting the ground feedback.
  • Note, if between sizes, order next size down
SaleBestseller No. 2
New Balance Women's FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker, Black/Magnet, 7 W US
  • Midsole Cushioning: These New Balance sneakers feature a REVlite midsole that delivers incredibly lightweight cushioning and provides a responsive ride for comfortable all-day wear
  • Underfoot Comfort: With an NB Memory Sole Comfort Insert that offers a plush feel with every step, this everyday shoe for women was made for wearing anywhere and everywhere
  • Sleek Design and Supportive Fit: Stay comfortable and stylish as you go about your day with the contemporary bootie design. The bootie upper construction hugs your foot for a snug, supportive fit
  • Lightweight Feel: The modern, eye-catching upper on these cross-trainers uses mesh and synthetic materials for a super lightweight feel that helps keep you light on your feet
  • Find Your Ideal Style: The FuelCore Nergize sneaker is available in a range of colors to suit your personal taste and preferences for easy, no-fuss styling you can dress up or down with ease
Bestseller No. 3
WHITIN Men's Trail Running Shoes Minimalist Barefoot 5 Five Fingers Wide Width Toe Box Gym Workout Fitness Low Zero Drop Male Light Weight Comfy Lite Tennis FiveFingers Black Size 10
  • Anatomical shape provides natural comfort.
  • Adaptive materials and minimalist construction.
  • Zero drop from heel to toe for a natural stride.
  • Our vegan friendly footwear uses 0% animal products.
  • Note, if between sizes, order next size down.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Merrell Men's Trail Glove 5 Sneaker, Turbulence, 11.0 M US
  • Vibram TC5+
  • Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for enhanced proprioception and stability during variable movement
Bestseller No. 5
ALEADER hiitave Men/Womens Minimalist Barefoot Trail Running Shoes Wide Toe Glove Cross Trainers Hiking Shoes Black/Gray/Yellow US 10.5 Men
  • Five-toe box design running shoes help you feel like you're barefoot for lightweight comfort
  • Mesh and TPU upper provides lasting flexibility and breathable
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure at instep for a more secure fit
  • Machine washable. Air dry away from sun or heat source
  • Rubber outsole helps you get a steady tripd
SaleBestseller No. 6
New Balance Women's 520 V5 Running Shoe, Black/White, 9 W US
  • Underfoot Comfort: These running shoes feature a lightweight injection-molded EVA foam midsole to provide lightweight support, plus an NB Comfort Insert to offer additional cushioning
  • Supportive Design: The breathable mesh and synthetic uppers on these fitness shoes are designed to be soft and supportive on the feet. The upper sits atop a durable rubber outsole
  • Versatile and Lightweight Running Shoes: Whether you're working through tough training sessions or a busy weekend of errands, these New Balance running shoes are designed to provide all-day comfort
  • A Great Finishing Touch to Any Outfit: With a stylish silhouette and classic NB branding, these cushioned running shoes can be paired with any casual or athletic outfit without looking out of place
  • Comfortable Running Shoes: These synthetic running shoes deliver a plush feeling that lasts, thanks to the underfoot flex grooves and data-inspired comfort technology for enhanced all-day comfort
Bestseller No. 7
Vibram Men's V Running Shoe, Black/Yellow, 43 EU/9.5-10 M US
  • Minimalist running shoe featuring perforated upper with adjustable pull tab and cord closure
  • VI-Lite Midsole with XS Run outsole rubber compound
  • Mont Compound rubber pads in the outsole. INSOLE: 2mm EVA Anti-Microbial Drilex Sockliner, MIDSOLE: 4mm EVA
  • Please be aware this product runs one size large. Please size down 1 size from your normal VFF size
Bestseller No. 8
Saucony mens Bullet Sneaker , Navy/Gray , 9.5 M US
  • Removable insole
  • Rubber outsole
  • Low profile silhouette and cross-country platform creates an authentic retro feel.
SaleBestseller No. 9
Weweya Minimalist Shoes Men Five Fingers Cross Training Barefoot Running Shoes Indoor Biking Gym Workout Cycling Spin Exercise Size 11 Black
  • Minimalist Barefoot Style Design - achieve your physical fitness by simulating the true barefoot feeling. For barefoot style shoes new user, please took time to get use to this healthy feeling gradually.
  • Wide Toe Box Safety Design - upgrade toe shoes design, without the separate slots for your toes. Set free your toes as real "barefoot style (a natural stride)" to invoid hurting toes when use.
  • The tongue-less design - foot fits through a collar-like opening to slide into the shoe. Tighten shoeslace (army green shoes come with unique elastic lacing system) to enjoy lightweight "second skin" feeling.
  • Removable Exclusive Arch Support Insole (Zero Drop Style) - gives you enough support to help you strength and exercise your own muscles and bones (provide less support than common running shoes).
  • Indoor Activities-gym deadlifts, squats, lifting, treadmill jogging, yoga, spinning bike, rope skippingaerobics, fitball, hotball, abdomen back stretch, and working out in general Outdoor Activities- camping, casual walking, training, running, jogging, biking, hiking, climbing, camping, and vacation etc.
SaleBestseller No. 10
Merrell womens Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker, Black, 9 US
  • Vibram TC5+
  • Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for enhanced proprioception and stability during variable movement
  • Closure type is: Lace-Up

I get commissions for purchases made through links on this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.