Minimalist Running Shoes Such as Vibram; Is This Really A Good Idea For Everybody?

Minimalist Running Shoes Such as Vibram; Is This Really A Good Idea For Everybody?

One of the discussions that I have had with runners is whether they should change to barefoot running style shoes. The most notable is the Vibram which has the five fingers. Some runners who had problems before noticed the Vibram seemed to improve the way they feel and hard core runners, superstitious as they are go by instinct, rather than rationally understanding why they hurt before. This is problematic because some of these runners I have evaluated on treadmills (some of them have worked in your local running store) and with the Vibram on their feet, were shown via phone video how they were running. One runner who worked at Roadrunner Sports insisted he felt much better in these shoes, even though on the video he did not look so great. We decided to try an experiment; I placed a pair of superfeet branded orthotics in his shoes and we placed him back on the treadmill. Using before and after video, we could clearly see his stride improved, and so did his symmetry, which was great except for the fact that these shoes were not designed to have an insert like this in the shoe because they were too much like slippers.

Other manufacturers have now gotten into the game with their own designs which are considered minimalist. Unlike the Vibram, you can put an orthosis in those shoes and improve your running gait. Apparently, there is mounting evidence which supports revisiting the more traditional type of running shoe. I have no doubt that certain types of symmetrical body styles will love the Vibram approach, however, for the rest of us, we need more support and cushioning for the way we walk and run. Check out the article below.

Barefoot v. Shoes (From Runners World)

“In the long-running debate over running form and running shoes,” writes Alex Hutchinson, “many of us had started to accept the claim that cushioning in running shoes serves no purpose. Maybe it does, after all.”

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