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Barefoot running is not the same as running in minimalist shoes

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by NewsBot, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.


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    Running in a minimalist and lightweight shoe is not the same as running barefoot: a biomechanical study
    Jason Bonacci, Philo U Saunders, Amy Hicks, Timo Rantalainen, Bill (Guglielmo) T Vicenzino, Wayne Spratford
    Br J Sports Med (online first)
  2. Yep, that's what Tenbroek demonstrated too in his PhD thesis:
    http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/v...700187,d.d2k#search="phd hamill running shoe"

    Interesting that there were no differences between the racing flat and minimalist shoe- anyone know which shoes were used? If the minimalist shoe was a Vibram five finger, it means you can run with similar kinetics and kinematics in a racing flat without looking like a clown- bonus for everyone I should think.
  3. CamWhite

    CamWhite Active Member

    From "The Onion":
    New Balance Releases "Laces Only" Minimalist Shoe ;)

  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    It always intrigues me when results like this are reported. Its not possible to get "an 11% decrease in the peak internal knee extension and abduction moments" without a compensatory increase somewhere else. Why not report the increase as well?

    If someone has an injury history related to an higher peak internal knee extension and higher abduction moments, then theoretically barefoot running is best for them ... depends if there tissues can take the increased load elsewhere due to the compensatory loads to accommodate that decrease.
  5. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  6. BWW

    BWW Welcome New Poster

    Shoes were Nike 3.0, Nike lunar racer, participants own jogger/trainers and the barefoot condition.
  7. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    This study showed Vibram FF more similar to barefoot:
    J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2009 Mar;49(1):6-13.
    Biomechanical and physiological comparison of barefoot and two shod conditions in experienced barefoot runners.
    Squadrone R, Gallozzi C.
    Institute of Sport Medicine and Sport Science, Italian Olympic National Committee, Rome, Italy.

    While a minimalist shoe and VFF are both trying to achieve similar dynamics, they go about it differently and it appears they receive different results.

    The minimalist shoe tends to be loose in the forefoot to allow freedom of movement of the foot such as the toes and metatarsals being able to splay and the sole is flexible to allow the toes to flex. Ultimately, it gives the shoe a sloppy feel to it. The foot moves around in the shoe, the shoe can hit the ground before the foot, etc.

    The racing flat tends to have a much tighter fit. Movement of the foot might be compromised for the benefit of support.

    The study points out that the result is similar for the racing flat and minimalist shoe. UNFORTUNATELY, the shoes used, the Nike Free 3.0 and the LunaRacer 2 are both fairly cushioned shoes and poor examples. The Nike Free 3.0 is a very poor example of a minimalist shoe because it has a lot of cushion and has a differential between the heel and toe. The LunaRacer 2 is a very poor example of a racing flat because the Lunar foam is very soft and highly cushioned. In short, it is a really mushy shoe vs a more traditional racing flat that might use a firmer, thinner midsole.

    I own and wear both the lunaracer 2 and the Free 3.0 regularly. It didn't take a study for me to know that I run in them similar to how I run in traditional training shoes. Why someone would go through all of that effort on a study like this and then use really poor examples of the minimal and racing flat class of shoes is beyond me. It makes me suspicious about whether they knew what they are really doing. Out of all of the examples they could have picked, sheesh.

    The Vibram FF works on an entirely different principle. Because of the toes, the shoes can be made to fit snug to the foot with spandex type uppers. While the toes splay and flex, the shoe fits tight to the foot so that the sole and uppers move WITH the foot, not the foot moving around in the shoe. When landing, the shoe and the foot hit the ground simultaneously.

    Another big difference between VFF and the shoes used in the study is that there is only a few mm of thickness in the sole of the VFF, there is no heel to toe differential and there is no cushioning.

    The solution to preventing looking like a clown in VFF is to leave them at home when out casually and save them for when you are out running where no one will see you close up and be offended from you wearing shoes that look like feet.

  8. ...

    You look like a clown wearing Vibram's.

    If my feet looked like a pair of Vibram's, I'd seek medical help. Of course, another solution is just not to wear them at all, and I suspect less and less people will now that the fad has burnt it's blue soul and the evidence is starting to catch up with the claims http://www.podiatry-arena.com/podiatry-forum/showthread.php?p=290707

    In all the time these shoes have been in production I've seen a grand total of four people wearing them here in this here whereabouts: one was a round the world yachtsman who used them for sailing, two were a couple of mates of mine who live in that London- say no more, and the other was a newly qualified "sports therapist" who was trying to convince anyone and everyone that the solution to their problems was to forefoot strike- nice.
  9. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    I've seen more than 4 people wearing them in the last week. But as you say, London town is a different beast...
  10. As I said to both of them: "you might get away with them in that London, but you can be too avant-garde for Plymouth". Basically both of them ignored my advice, turned up at the rugby club wearing them and were severely ridiculed for the duration of their stay. Funny as.

    D'ya think the Royal and Ancient would allow them?

    From Withnail and I- Re: "London types":

    Are you the farmer? [To I] Shut up, I'll deal with this. [to
    Parkin] We've gone on holiday by mistake. We're in this cottage
    here. Are you the farmer?
    Stop saying that Withnail, of course he's the f@cking farmer. [To
    Parkin] We're friends of Montague Withnail, we desperately need
    fuel and wood.
    [The farmer shakes his head, bewildered.]

    Montegue Withnail, you must know him. Fat man, owns the cottage.
    Ay, seen the fat man. London type. Queer sort. Think his name's
    French or something.
    Ay, Adrian de la Touche. He hasn't been up year for couple of
    years. Last time I saw him, he were; he were with his son.
    Yeah, that's him.
    Listen, we're bona fide. We're not from London. Could we have
    some fuel and wood?
    Ay, I could bring you up some logs later but I've got the cows
    and that to feed first.
    Shut up. That would be very kind of you. Erm, what about food? Do
    you think you could sell us something to eat?
    I could bring you up a chicken but you'll have to go to the
    village really.

    Enjoy, one of the best films ever made... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRTpwyNGT6w And check out that flat level landscape they're ambulating upon.:rolleyes:
  11. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, time will tell whether you are right or not about VFF. If there is one thing I've learned on the Podiatry Arena is that running shoes in general, regardless of how they are classified, categorized, foot typed or marketed do a pretty poor job of preventing or curing injury and with one exception, do a poor job of making you a more efficient runner.

    The only consistently demonstrated benefit of running shoes happens to be with respect to weight. Lighter running shoes can make you a faster, more efficient runner. It has been demonstrated over and over and there should be no argument. BUT, even that is only up to a point before the benefit of some minor cushioning helps more than the reduction of those last few ounces.

    Different types and brands of running shoes will come and go. We can speculate which ideas will endure the test of time and which ones won't. As you mentioned in an earlier post, fashion is a much a driver as anything with running shoes.

    If you lived in the Boulder, Colorado area you might bump into me from time to time but you would never see me wearing Vibram FiveFingers. Yet, I wear them almost every day out on the trails running. Using VFF is not about some sort of warped fashion statement, it is about the feel and experience they provide when running. I don't care about injury cure or prevention, we know how unsuccessful running shoes have been in this area. All I care about is wearing light, comfortable shoes that allow me to run for hours on end.

    Shoes with a lot of "engineering" bells and whistles have proven to do nothing for me and it makes no sense at all for me to wear them running. I am convinced that light shoes help with running efficiency. On a daily basis, I'm not concerned about how fast I can run but I am concerned about how a shoe might help make running easier for me. To accomplish this, I could wear racing flats, "minimal" shoes or VFF. It turns out, I wear all of the above. I have several pairs of "mimimal" shoes but I don't like the sloppy feel you get from the way they are designed to let your foot move around IN the shoe. I find a big difference between minimal shoes and VFF in that minimal shoes are like wearing a sloppy mitten on your hand where VFF is like wearing a latex glove. Your hand has free movement in both but in this case I certainly would not want my doctor wearing mittens.

    Racing flats fit snug to your foot and work fine but you can't feel the ground nearly as well and you can't move your toes or forefoot that well. You don't need to feel the ground to be able to run but as I mentioned in an earlier post, running is all about the relationship between your body and the ground. I fully recognize that relationship and I like being as connected to the ground as possible. As you know, your feet are loaded with sensory receptors, I frankly like using those receptors when I'm running. It doesn't matter to me if there has been a study about using the receptors in your feet to feel the ground, I just happen to like getting a lot of feedback from those receptors while out on the trails.

    Most people do not stay with running for the long term. People in general just don't stick with things long before they lose interest or get distracted by something else. Since running actually takes work and effort, I expect the average Joe who picks up running loses interest lightening quick. I really don't believe VFF are a good choice for the average Joe runner. Statistically, the average Joe runner is going to hurt himself in short order so he might as well buy big protective shoes so he can use them to mow the lawn once he's given up on running.

    Those who have a positive, long term running experience with VFF are truly in a niche. I would agree VFF for the masses was a fad that has had it's impact on the running shoe industry but has probably seen better days with respect to sales figures. While Vibram continues to come up with more and more new models, I would speculate that at some point they will benefit by cutting back to a few proven models that have worked well for those in its marketing niche. I certainly hope that at least a few models of VFF survive the long term and continue to cater to a niche of runners who truly enjoy them for the genuine running experience they provide.

    I would hope that in the long term, the people who struggle with the VFF concept can just let it go and let the market determine the ultimate fate of the FiveFinger running shoe.


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