Are Barefoot Shoes Really Better?
Barefoot running may be trendy, but for scores of runners who train on urban streets or rocky trails, running without foot cover isn’t an option. As a result, many runners have switched to minimalist sports shoes that add a thin layer of protection without detracting from the feeling of running barefoot.
But do minimalist running shoes really reduce wear and tear on a runner’s body?
The American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit group that reports on fitness, recently sponsored a small study to learn more about the popular footwear. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, asked 16 women, all healthy recreational joggers ages 19 to 25, to spend two weeks getting used to running in the Vibram FiveFingers, a snug, glovelike shoe that weighs less than five ounces. The women were advised to use the shoes, the best-selling brand of barefoot sports shoes, three times a week for up to 20 minutes a day. Continue reading here