Barefoot running less efficient says a new study. Something to consider when looking at barefoot running shoes.

Barefoot running less efficient says a new study. Something to consider when looking at barefoot running shoes.

Study Shows Barefoot Running Is Less Efficient

By Dr. Mercola

A number of runners who believe barefoot is best may be surprised to learn that a new study shows they may not be getting the boost they thought they were from going without shoes.

Researchers at the University of Colorado say what’s really best is running with lightweight, cushioned shoes, which do a considerably better job at conserving a runner’s energyi – but the matter is still up for debate.

Is it Easier to Run While Wearing Shoes?

The study involved 12 experienced runners who had “extensive” barefoot running experience. They ran on treadmills on different occasions, wearing either lightweight, cushioned running shoes, or no shoes (rather than being completely barefoot, they wore thin yoga socks). During the barefoot running sessions, the researchers taped small weights to the top of the runners’ feet to simulate the same amount of weight as wearing a shoe.

What they found was that barefoot running used nearly 4 percent more energy with every step, which suggests it may be physiologically easier on your feet to wear lightweight shoes. The difference came in, according to researchers, because of the lack of shoe cushioning. This put the entire force of impact with the ground on the leg muscles, which had to work harder when barefoot compared to with shoes.

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