It is often assumed that running in minimalist footwear which provides significantly less support and control than conventional running shoes, will result in stronger feet. An ongoing study at the University of Virginia seeks to quantify changes in muscle tissue in the feet, ankles, and legs in a group of runners transitioning from standard running shoes to minimalist footwear.
The first phase of the study consisted of baseline mapping of the muscles in the runners, who had at that point run only in standard running shoes. The second phase, to begin shortly, will document changes to the muscles (volume and length) as the study subjects transition to minimalist footwear. Both phases utilize static and dynamic MRI technology. Stay tuned for the results.
Study Looks at Muscle Adaptation of Transition to Minimalist Running
Newswise — For tens of thousands of years, humans ran on bare feet. Then we developed an assortment of specialized shoes, including – particularly since the 1960s – a seemingly limitless variety of running shoes. Despite the perceived advantages of foot protection, some runners in recent years have returned to barefoot running, believing it is a more natural way to run and therefore less injurious to the feet and legs. Read More »