Examining injury risk and pain perception in runners using minimalist footwear
The running footwear industry has revolutionized in recent years due to the anecdotal advantages of barefoot or minimalist running. The purpose of the current study was to prospectively investigate the effect of two different minimalist shoes and one conventional model on injury incidence and pain amongst a group of recreational runners.
Participants were randomly assigned a neutral (Nike Pegasus 28), partial minimalist (Nike Free 3.0 V2), or full minimalist shoe (Vibram 5-Finger Bikila). All runners completed a 12-week training program in preparation for a 10km race.
Following the conclusion of training, final analysis revealed that those participants who ran in the neutral shoe reported the least amount of injuries, whilst those in the partial minimalist experienced the highest incidence. Additionally, those who ran in the full minimalist shoe reported a greater amount of calf and shin pain.
Therefore, clinicians should exercise caution when prescribing minimalist running shoes to clients who have never run in this type of footwear category. > From: Ryan et al., Br J Sports Med (2013) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
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