Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Bare your sole? Just shorten your stride"

It's defininitely an improvement:

"Now, a forthcoming study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin suggests that many of the benefits promised by barefoot running, including a reduction of the forces acting on knees and hips, can be obtained simply by taking shorter, quicker steps.

"'We found very similar loading patterns,' says Bryan Heiderscheit, the senior author of the study, which will appear in a forthcoming issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 'and you don’t have to go all the way to the extreme of getting rid of your shoes.'"
However, there are plenty of other benefits to be gained from minimalist shoes or barefoot running.

Ultimately, however, the injury rate in running is likely primarily the result of poor form.  Sneakers encourage poor form by design, but you can certainly improve your form even while wearing sneakers.  You're fighting against yourself, but it's a partial solution.