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Do running shoes weaken muscles?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by William Fowler, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member


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    I had a discussion with a running coach today who was very adament that running shoes weaken muscles and that is why runners pronate and need foot orthotics. The best I could get out of him was that he read it on the internet (and of course it then must be true). Is anyone aware of any actual evidence or data on this?
     
  2. Griff

    Griff Administrator

    In a word... No.

    There is none.

    Glad to hear said coach subscribes to evidence based practice though.
     
  3. Here some EMG studies in relaion to running shoes.


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16540846

    http://www.uclm.es/profesorado/xaguado/ASIGNATURAS/BTD/4-Apuntes/Tema%201/sdarticle.pdf

    http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/43/12/943.abstract
     
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Of course they don't.

    You see these claims a lot, especially in the barefoot running community. Despite the latest whinge by Barefoot Michael, the burden of proof should be with those making the claims. The barefoot running community need to come up with the evidence if they are going to keep claiming that running shoes weaken muscles.

    I got asked this by a reporter recently and mentioned my responses in the barefoot running thread

    Consider this:
    1. There is not even close to being any evidence that they do (given the strength of the claims being made you would kinda think that there would be)
    2. If running shoes were to weaken muscles, then you would assume that they do it by restricting motion. The evidence is that running shoes do not that.
    3. If it was true, then you would expect to see more pronated/flat feet in runners compared to the general population. There is absolutely no evidence that is the case and not even a hint by anyone that this is the case.
    4. If someone is a non-runner and then takes up running (lets say in the most motion controlling running shoe), then surely they are going to be using muscles more and the muscles will actually get stronger (I would love the barefoot running community to explain away this point!)
    5. I have no doubt that barefoot running can make muscles stronger, but that does not mean that they were weak to start with.
    6. Weakness of intrinsic foot muscles actually leads to a higher arch foot, not a flat pronated foot! And we know from the evidence of Lizis et al (2010) that muscles strength is not even related to arch height.
    7. If this was the cause of flat/pronated feet, then how do you explain a flat/pronated foot in those who do not wear running shoes or even any shoes at all?

    Even though Paul Shearer was talking about foot orthotics, this quote from the introduction to his recent book, is very applicable to this topic:
     
  5. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member

    I like this point:
    I wish I could have made it to this coach!
     
  6. Mechanical Comparison of Barefoot and Shod Running

     
  7. Jaimee Brent

    Jaimee Brent Active Member

    how do you all feel about runners like the Nike free's?

    To me they seem to have a place as a training tool, possibly to increase strength in intrinsic foot mm. as sand running may do.
    However, as an option of everyday footwear...couldn't they cause just as many problems as shoes like ballet flats and thongs? requiring higher output and possibly muscle overuse injuries?
     
  8. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I have no problems with Nike free and other minimalist footwear and even barefoot running. I have no doubt they offer a 'training effect' and every serious runner probably should incoporate some drills or runs with them due to that training effect. One study (with issues in its methodology) has shown Nike Free can strengthen the lower limb muscles.

    The only issue I have is those claims (?lies) about running shoes weakening muscles. Just because barefoot and minimalist shoes probably make the muscles stronger does not mean that they were weak in the first place and does not mean that this will stop a foot pronating and does not even mean that this is a good thing.

    Think about this one: If barefoot or minimalist shoes do make the muscles stronger, how do they do that? They do that by making the muscles work harder....surely that is a bad thing? ....surely that is a sign of an inefficient gait or running form. I would have thought a reduction in muscle activity would be the end result of the most appropriate form or technique, so that you can run faster.
     
  9. Craig is right here. I have even heard a well-known researcher claim that "shoes are like neck braces, preventing the normal motions of the foot that will eventually weaken the foot muscles". There is absolutely no scientific basis for these claims. The concept that shoes weaken feet is all BS, as far as I'm concerned.

    Lets take an example. Let's say that a runner is able to run 70 miles a week if they are wearing their favorite running shoe, but can only run 20 miles a week if they are running barefoot because the barefoot condition doesn't offer their skin and skeleton the protection to run 70 miles per week over the asphalt and cement of their community. Then over a period of 6 months of either running barefoot or in their favorite running shoe, we do strength testing of their extrinsic and intrinsic muscles of their feet, measure their VO 2 max, measure their lactate threshold and have them then run a time trial in either the barefoot or shoe condition.....what do you think the results would be? Would the barefoot runner be faster, more efficient and have stronger feet and stronger legs?.....I seriously doubt it.

    Running shoes don't restrict foot motion, they protect the feet from the running surface, allowing the runner to train harder, faster and longer than they could while running barefoot. Running shoes allow the runner to train and race over nearly every terrrestrial surface and condition the Earth has to offer. The same can not be said for the barefoot condition. Barefoot running certainly has some benefits (i.e. less mass, better tactile feel with surface, less cost), but, in today's world of asphalt, concrete and a habitually shoe-wearing population, the thought that being barefoot is a better way to run while training or racing is nonsense.

    I will be debating Dr. Irene Davis on barefoot (Davis) vs shod (Kirby) running at a Physical Therapy conference in Long Beach in September 2011. Should be interesting.
     
  10. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I had not looked at those for a while, so revisited them. I still can't see how so many are intrepeting those studies as showing barefoot running is better than shod running. All they showed was that they are different ... don't figure the propaganda that gets generated from that research! :craig:
     
  11. I hear you - different, good for some bad for others.
     
  12. ag1

    ag1 Member

    Richard Smith, a biomechanist at Sydney Univeristy, does a lot of research into gait analysis and has recently done, or is just finishing off, a study on barefeet versus shoe wearing in the dorsiflexion of the forefoot during the weight bearing stance to take off phase of walking/ running in children. He mentioned to date that shoe wearing decreased the ROM of the dorsiflexion and as such, asks should shoes in children actually change to make sure they have the same ROM as when barefeet? He is at this point doing more research to see if this is required.

    As a side note we did a basic observation of barefeet running/walking versus walking/runnig in a motion control shoe over a force plate and recorded the joint movements/ angles + speed +location using up to 20 cameras picking up markers on each main joint in the lower limb. Results yet to be analysed.
     
  13. In all these arguments by Chris McDougall and the other barefoot advocates, where they hypothesize that running barefoot allows an individual to develop "stronger feet", they all seem to miss the point that most people only run maybe an hour or less a day, while they walk, stand and perform other weightbearing activites during for 4-12 hours a day, nearly always in shoes. Why are we so concerned about what happens to the foot muscles during the short running session of the day and not concerned about what these runners are doing to the their feet during the much longer session of the day wearing shoes (and some of these shoes doing real damage to the feet).

    If one wants to be objective and scientific about this analysis, one must look at the total time during the day that the feet are inside shoes and what activities are being performed inside those shoes, versus being barefoot. Why is the non-running period of the day when people habitually wear shoes never discussed by the barefoot running advocates? If you are going to run barefoot because you are worried about weakening your feet, then it would make sense to never wear shoes during the day since the time one spends during the day doing other weightbearing activities nearly always exceeds the amount of time running during the day.

    To me, it is just another problem with the barefoot running advocates: there is no internal consistency in their arguments and absolutely no good scientific data to back up their claims that running in shoes is somehow harmful to the feet or to the individual.
     
  14. nmedipem

    nmedipem Member

    What if instead we look at it like this: Shoes allow us to strengthen the muscles of propulsion.

    As a result, the intrinsic muscles of the foot will also strengthen with the same training, but relative to the leg muscles, are actually weaker. Is anyone aware of studies done measuring the strength of intrinsic foot muscles and the EMG activity of those muscles in gait?
     
  15. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    So I will throw one out there and see what response I get. Is it just possible that the real benefit in a "minimalist shoe" (although I have yet to read a definition of such), is about mixing the load and maybe offering a degree of confusion to the locomotor system for a short period of time. I have a theory, and theory it only is, that short bursts of unusual, dare I say even unstable activity, may be protective of injury. It just might be that this is the reason the Tarahumara, and orienteerers, and cross country runners, appear to have a lower incidence of the common running injuries, even though they are running as far or further than the pavement pounders. I do not think it has anything to do with heel gradient, or muscle strengthening as such. It has to do with spreading the applied load, moving the joints through consistantly greater ranges of motiona andaltered proprioception... with the caveat.. only over relatively short distances for those who have not been doing this all their lives... comments??
     
  16. timharmey

    timharmey Active Member

    one of my ESP physio colleague swears by minamilist running shoes ,i am not sure which brand, since they "cured" his shin splints .I dont know if it has strengthened his feet but i did think it may have of eliminated any equinus he may have had.I did have to mobilise his cuboid after he thought his ephiphany of "barefoot" running had given him a stress fracture but in the end all was well.So could it be that barefoot /minamist footwear may reduce contracture that may lead to foot pathologies?
     
  17. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Could be:
    1. Nothing to do with the minimalist shoes and his shin splints (whatever that is) was about to get better anyway
    2. Nothing to do with the minimalist shoes and it was due to a change in his running form from wearing those shoes. They could have changed to that running form wearing motion control shoes
    3. It was due to the minimalist shoes
    To my surprise the latest research just presented at the ACSM conference is that minimalist running does NOT strengthen the muscles
    good thought!
    Another in the long list of people to get an injury from minimalist running ... I thought it was supposed to put us out of business ... the opposite is happening!
     
  18. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    Hey Craig.. have you got any references for this.. it is quite intruiging! Any thoughts on the mix it up vs strengthening theory?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2011
  19. Simon:

    I don't think that this idea of "minimalist shoes" is a new idea . Back in the 1970s, when I was running lots of miles (60-100 miles per week), myself, and many other runners doing similar levels of miles, would have one or two pairs of thicker soled training flats to do most of our training miles in on asphalt and cement surfaces and then would generally have a racing flat that we raced in, ran intervals in or ran fartlek in over softer surfaces. In today's terminology, many would say that we were practicing "minimalist running" by using our racing flats to run interval and fartlek workouts. I say, if that is what you want to call it, then have at it. Just don't call it a new concept since competitive runners have been running in a variety of different shoes during their training miles for well over 30 years.

    I remember reading an article in Runner's World about the concept of trying to run in different styles of shoes on different days during my high school and undergraduate college running years (1970s). This 30+ old theory, in effect, was that by running in different styles of shoes (different midsole hardness, different heel height differential) on different days, you were effectively placing slightly different stresses on different anatomical structures on different days so that one anatomical structure wasn't being subjected to the same high level of stresses on every workout. In my experience, the other nice thing about having a few pairs of running shoes was that when doing double workouts (one workout in the AM and a second workout in the PM), my shoes had more time to dry out between runs so that I wasn't always lacing up a wet, soggy shoe. Shoes with minimal sole thickness were available in the 1970s and have been continually available to runners since that time. No big deal. The only difference now is that some people are calling what we called "racing flats"....."minimalist shoes".

    In regard to why the Tarahumara Indian tribe can run such long distances with relatively few injuries, this likely has almost nothing to do with what this tribe of gifted runners have (or don't have) on their feet, contrary to the propaganda that Chris McDougall puts forth within his book "Born to Run". Rather, the ability of the Tarahumara Indians to run with relatively few injuries is much more likely due to their body type, their never running on asphalt or concrete, their culture of using long-distance running as a form of a game which nurtures the respect for long distance running in all ages, and their multiple generations of long distance runners over hundreds of years that have likely produced a geographically isolated population of genetically superior long distance runners.

    I for one, think that having more varieties of shoes available for runners is a good thing. Now runners have the ability to choose from more styles of running shoes, which I would have called "racing flats" ten years ago, but will now probably call "minimalist shoes" so that I am using more currently accepted shoe terminology. The problem is that many runners will be running in these "minimalist shoes" with the idea that this will cure all their running injuries when, in fact, it may cure one type of running injury (e.g. knee injuries) and will cause another type of running injury (e.g. Achilles tendinitis, metatarsalgia, metatarsal stress fractures and dorsal midfoot interosseous comperession syndrome).

    Within a few years, the shoe market will likely settle down again to reflect a more safe and sane approach to why and when it is best to recommend "minimalist shoes" to runners to prevent and treat running injuries. However, as for now, it appears that no one has enough scientific evidence to effectively support their contention of what the "optimal running shoe" is for every runner.
     
  20. pod29

    pod29 Active Member

     
  21. pod29

    pod29 Active Member

    Here is the abstracts..... They are both basically the same as each other,



    Author(s): Justin F. Shroyer1, Cory E. Etheredge1, Wendi H. Weimar2. 1University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA. 2Auburn University, Auburn, AL. (Sponsor: David Pascoe, FACSM)
    Email: [email protected]
    Abstract:
    To appeal to barefoot running enthusiasts, several footwear companies have recently introduced minimalist running footwear to mimic running barefoot while providing protection to the foot from environmental hazards. One such common minimalist footwear is characterized by separated compartments for the phalanges of the foot. To date, there are few research studies to evaluate the effect of this minimalist footwear on the structure of the arches within the foot.
    PURPOSE: To compare the Arch Height Index (AHI) of participants after wearing Articulated Toe Shoes (ATS) footwear over a six month time period. It was hypothesized the AHI would increase after the six month period of wearing ATS.
    METHODS: Participants were assessed on AHI initially and after wearing ATS for a period of six months (N = 5 males, Mean age: 29.4 ± 5.2 yrs, Mean height: 1.78 ± .05 m, Mean mass: 79.11 ± 7.83 kg, self reported mean ATS wear time: 5.7 ± 2.1 hrs/day). AHI was calculated by dividing the height of the dorsal aspect of the participant’s foot at the midpoint of the total length of the foot by the length of the foot from the posterior aspect of the calcaneous to the 1st metatarsalphalangeal joint. AHI was analyzed using a repeated measure ANOVA with significance set at p < .05.
    RESULTS: There was no statistical difference between initial-AHI and post-AHI after six months (p = .961). Across all five test subjects, the mean initial-AHI was .3400 (SD = .023); while the mean post-AHI was .3399 (SD = .022).
    CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study should be read with some caution due to the small sample size. However, it does begin to answer one of the concerns regarding the wearing of minimal footwear, specifically, the failure of the arch in the absence of arch supports. The results of the present study seem to suggest that this concern is unwarranted. Further research is needed to investigate whether this finding remains at larger sample sizes and to determine the mechanism of the maintenance of the arch in the absences of the arch support.





    Justin F. Shroyer1, Cory E. Etheredge1, Wendi H. Weimar2. 1University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA. 2Auburn University, Auburn, AL. (Sponsor: David Pascoe, FACSM)
    Email: [email protected]
    Abstract:
    To appeal to barefoot running enthusiasts, several footwear companies have recently introduced minimalist running footwear to mimic running barefoot while providing protection to the foot from environmental hazards. One such common minimalist footwear is characterized by separated compartments for the phalanges of the foot. To date, there are few research studies to evaluate the effect of this minimalist footwear on the structure of the arches within the foot.
    PURPOSE: To compare the Arch Height Index (AHI) of participants after wearing Articulated Toe Shoes (ATS) footwear over a six month time period. It was hypothesized the AHI would increase after the six month period of wearing ATS.
    METHODS: Participants were assessed on AHI initially and after wearing ATS for a period of six months (N = 5 males, Mean age: 29.4 ± 5.2 yrs, Mean height: 1.78 ± .05 m, Mean mass: 79.11 ± 7.83 kg, self reported mean ATS wear time: 5.7 ± 2.1 hrs/day). AHI was calculated by dividing the height of the dorsal aspect of the participant’s foot at the midpoint of the total length of the foot by the length of the foot from the posterior aspect of the calcaneous to the 1st metatarsalphalangeal joint. AHI was analyzed using a repeated measure ANOVA with significance set at p < .05.
    RESULTS: There was no statistical difference between initial-AHI and post-AHI after six months (p = .961). Across all five test subjects, the mean initial-AHI was .3400 (SD = .023); while the mean post-AHI was .3399 (SD = .022).
    CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study should be read with some caution due to the small sample size. However, it does begin to answer one of the concerns regarding the wearing of minimal footwear, specifically, the failure of the arch in the absence of arch supports. The results of the present study seem to suggest that this concern is unwarranted. Further research is needed to investigate whether this finding remains at larger sample sizes and to determine the mechanism of the maintenance of the arch in the absences of the arch support.
     
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    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

  23. Griff

    Griff Administrator

  24. timharmey

    timharmey Active Member

    Humans advanced due to persistance running, so we should all run about with out shoes on, ok I will throw all my shoes away, happy days
     
  25. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member


    Kevin, I don't think anyone is calling minimalist running a new idea or concept. What is new is not the concept of minimalist running but the proportion of total running that is done in minimalist shoes. You used racing flats or "minimalist" shoes for racing and speed work. That probably represented about 10% of your total miles run in "minimalist" shoes. What is different today is that people doing what is called minimalist running are using minimalist shoes for 90 to 100% percent of their running and they are doing it on all surfaces, not just softer surfaces. They are not using thicker soled training flats for any running at all.


    Seems I remember someone on this forum talking about rotating shoes and that they had 13 different pairs of shoes and never wore the same pair more than once per week. That person claimed that after running 94,000 miles, he had never been injured and believed there was a connection between the practice of rotating shoes and staying healthy in a sport that has an extraordinary high propensity for injury. If I'm remembering correctly, the person's ideas were dismissed as anecdotal and that the person didn't have the qualifications to speculate about the connection in the first place.

    Without an "official" study to prove this theory, we may never know if rotating shoes supports healthy running or not. hmmmm.

    Kevin, I am also thrilled to have a wider range of styles of shoes to chose from.

    My guess is you probably will still misuse the terminology because you haven't grasped that there is a difference between racing flats and minimal shoes.

    While racing flats might be considered minimalist shoes, it is not that simple. First, the racing flat you often reference from 30 years ago does not exist in today's market under any name. For example, the Onitsuka Tiger you often reference from the early 1970's had a solid rubber outsole that was relatively heavy and not very flexible. There was no midsole and the uppers where made of initial production of nylon fabric. The fabric was then reinforced with suede leather overlays. All of this combined to produce a shoe that weighed roughly 10 OZ. The only thing those shoes had in common with "minimal shoes is that they had minimal support and no cushion.

    The modern racing flat generally does not have an outsole, instead they have an ultralight midsole with slight durability and performs the function of both midsole and outsole. The uppers are still man made but are much lighter and stronger than the initial attempts at nylon fabric. They often have no or few overlays that are also super light man made material as opposed to suede. The weight of these shoes come in around 4 or 5 OZ or less than half of the Onitsuka racing flat from 1972. The modern racing flat also has considerable support and has some cushion from the foam midsole used in place of the hard rubber outsole of the 1970's racing flat.

    Both of these shoes described are RACING FLATS and are intended as such. They have some qualities of minimal shoes but are not what I would classify what is being marketed as a true minimal shoe. A true minimal shoe of 2011 has most if not all of the listed qualities with and entirely different intent than racing flats:

    1) Very flexible sole and upper to promote natural foot movement.
    2) Very wide forefoot, toebox area to allow toes to spread unimpeded when they come in contact with the ground. In place of a wide forefoot, the shoes may have individual toe pockets. The purpose is the same, to allow complete movement and function of the toes.
    3) little to no height differential between the heel and forefoot. The purpose is to allow the foot to land on the ground without being preempted by a high heel reaching out and contacting the ground first.
    4) Very little to no support to allow the foot to use it's own natural support mechanism.
    5) Very little to no cushion to encourage the runners form and mechanism to naturally absorb the shock from the ground rather than falsely rely on the cushioned shoe.
    6) very light weight but this is not the most important factor.

    I have both modern racing flats and "minimal" shoes. While both tend to share some of the same properties the shoes where clearly designed for different purposes.


    Kevin, the whole point behind the minimalist shoe is not about the shoe as much as it is about running with a safe and healthy form. The intent is to prevent or treat running injuries through proper form, not the shoe. The shoes are only to encourage that form. We don't have enough scientific evidence to support what is the most safe and healthy form either. The "optimal running shoe", whatever that is, is the shoe that supports a safe and healthy running form.

    There will never be a perfect running shoe that works for everyone under all conditions. Runners will still be left with the burden of finding and matching shoes to their own individual qualities while matching those shoes to the type of running they intend to do. For someone like me who knows what works under a given situation, I'm thrilled with the widening array of choices. For a new runner, they will only be overwhelmed by the choices and chances are, the clerk in the shoe store will be just as overwhelmed with the choices he must make his recommendations from.

    For that matter, I know of one individual that finds it necessary to run in more that a dozen different types of shoes to best match their shoes to their running requirements. I hear he has had great success from spending the time to think through and match a style of shoe with the type of running he is doing.

    One size does not fit all.

    Dana
     
  26. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    8. Basmajian (I think it was him), showed many many years ago that the EMG activity of the intrinsic muscles was greater in those with a flatfoot. If the activity of those muscles are higher --> then they must be working harder --> then they must be stronger in a flat foot --> this strongly suggests that muscles are actually stronger in a flat/pronated foot (?)
     
  27. pod29

    pod29 Active Member

    It was Basmajian that reported increased EMG activity of the plantar foot muscles, way back in the 1960's. However, a greater EMG signal amplitude does not necessarily imply greater strength. What it does indicate though, is that there is a increased neural drive to the muscle, resulting in a greater number of recruited motor units and probably a higher firing rate. But this does not necessarily mean greater strength or force output. A stronger muscle may require less neural drive, as each muscle fibre is able to generate a greater amount of force. Therefore less motor units require to generate x amount of force.

    So my suggestion for why flat feet display increased EMG signal amplitude is that the mechanical loading demands are higher, due to altered moment arms of these muscles in pes planus feet.
    They may well be stronger, but you can't determine this from EMG recordings.
     
  28. pod29

    pod29 Active Member

    Also taking into consideration Simon's idea. I think it is possible that some (if not a lot) of the benefit of barefoot running may be due to the variations in loading patterns when running on an uneven terrain or running without shoes. Alterations in neural drive, due to constant changes in sensory input over time may lead to neural adaptation (sensorimotor education?), where a runner develops more efficient neural control of their movement?

    This idea should be taken with the caveat that barefoot or minimalist running on a road or cement path may not provide too much of this loading variation, hence the potential for injuries such as stress fractures etc
     
  29. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_overload
     
  30. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    So? What has that got to do with it?

    If barefoot/minimalist running makes muscles stronger, it can only be because they make the muscles work harder.

    Surely the muscles having to work harder is a sign of an inefficient gait - what has that got to do with progressive overload?
     
  31. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    I'm with Craig on this Sicknote, your logic is flawed and I'll tell you why:

    1. If you use Wiki for as a source for accurate scientific evidence you seriously need to reevaluate your critical thinking skills and accept that it is at best a subjectively reported and documented source.

    2. If we did not walk on our feet and bear weight every single day, experience ground reactive force and gravity etc. your supposition might exhibit a scintilla of truth and reasoning. In light of these facts no ambulatory person exhibits muscle atrophy walking and during activities of daily living.

    Does walking or running barefoot increase muscular activity in the feet and legs? Yes. Does it do so more than simply walking? I'm not the authority on that but as Craig points out it may be because it is so inefficient and what is really good about that? Barefooters need to get over this "drink the Kool Aid" mindset and realize that shoes, like seatbelts, helmets and earplugs at a firing are protective and improve quality of life and decrease injury. We have evidence of these things and those who do not agree should simply stand in front of the targets at the firing range to improve the sanity of the herd. :bang:
     
  32. Orthican

    Orthican Active Member

    Just thinking this through.....So, if the running shoes were to make one weaker it would fly in the face of a concept ....that the more unstable the base of support, the more the CNS will attempt stablization through muscle activation in the lower extremity...

    So, then logically would it not make more sense that the opposite be true? That running shoes would if anything strengthen the limb over time ?

    Just thinking about that "zools" thread.....
     
  33. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Not wanting to change the subject too much.

    But if running shoes weaken foot muscles so much due to the "excessive" support , what does all of this say about cyclist, who wear rigid carbon fiber shoes for many long hours at a time?

    Does this say that all cyclist pronate heavily once they take off their cycling footwear, due to the weakened foot muscles from their "over" excessive supportive footwear? :pigs:
     
  34. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Good point.

    Perhaps those who thing running shoes weaken muscles could explain why cyclists do not have 'weak' muscles and an epidemic of flat feet.
     
  35. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    yeah.. no kidding.. I have pondered this exact concepty myself many times in my quiet momnets.. usually flying somewhere to argue with a barefooter or minmalistpersonagethingo.
    the next question is.. why do runners get so introspective about their footwear? it is a phenomenon unique to running.
    Cycling, the other great mass participation sport, seems very content with the concept that it is about being sociable and having fun, and that not everyone wants to be Cadel Evans. In fact, every non professional cyclist i have ever met is quite content to be a little fat.. go out for a big ride a couple of times a week, then meet up with their cycling mates for a latte and a cream bun. Narry a diatribe on cycling shoes (despite the fact they are hugely expensive).. in sight.

    this continues to puzzle me, and I believe it gets back to the extraordinary power of the minimalist and barefoot running bloggers who can post whatever they like, when ever they like, with Zero accountability..

    Arrrrrrrrggggggh
     
  36. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Its almost as though if you are a barefoot runner, you are then qualified to give medical advice .... don't figure

    Did you read post 14 in this thread in which I commented on a runner who now has a permanent disability and will probably never run again because they got their medical advice from a barefoot website rather than believe their orthopedic surgeon.

    A large part of the problem is confirmation bias and cherry picking.
     
  37. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Here is another related observation ... you often hear comments that running shoes are like braces for the neck and the knee (etc) in that they weaken the muscles as the muscles are used as much. Well, knee bracing for the knee in OA does not weaken the muscles (link).
     
  38. Craig:

    Many of the barefooters like to use the analogy that foot orthoses weaken the foot since they say that foot orthoses act like neck braces, by restricting motion.

    Rather, in response, I have always said that foot orthoses help guide the motion of the joints of the foot and ankle rather restricting the motion of these joints.

    I don't know of any foot orthosis that has the ability to reduce the available range of motion of any of the foot or lower extremity joints. However, foot orthoses do have the ability to alter the kinetics across the joints of the foot and lower extremity which will help guide these joints toward more normal kinematics during weightbearing activities.

    In addition, do we really want muscle-bound feet, which have a higher than normal mass, when we run? The best running animals are designed with most of their extremities' muscle mass proximallyand with their distal extremities (e.g. feet, paws, hooves) having fairly low mass. Why would we even want a muscle-bound foot for running? Having heavier feet, with more muscle mass, would probably slow us down due to the increase in moment of inertia of the lower extremity which has repeatedly been shown in scientific research to decrease the metabolic efficiency of running. It's much better to have bigger muscles proximally for running animals since more muscle mass proximally, rather than distally, will decrease the moment of inertia of the limb and make running more efficient.
     
  39. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    Kevin.. do you have any thoughts.. anecdotally of course, on the potential percentage increase in foot weight due to uscle hypertrophy, secondary to barefoot running. is it tiny, or does it have the potential to be quite large/
     
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