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Effect of barefoot running on mood

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Craig Payne, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator


    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    This clinical trial has just been registered:
    Effects of Barefoot Running vs. in Shoes on Physiology and Mood
  2. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Gives rise to an immediate index of suspicion:

    i) who is funding it?

    ii) who is carrying out the study?

    iii) is it double blinded?

    iv) what is the study design?

    Just at the moment the All Blacks, who are all shod, are creaming the northern hemisphere teams, and that is causing me immense depression!

  3. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Most of the answers can be found here: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01733381

    It is being carried out by what looks like a team of Psychiatrists from the University of Arizona.

    It is prospective in design.

    No mention of funding but the shoes being used for the "barefoot" group will be VFF...
  4. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Maybe I'm not on the appropriate wavelength at the moment... but I'm struggling to see the logic/point of the above study. It just seems to have an odd grounding (no pun intended as you'll understand later).

    Ok, we know that exercise does potentially have positive effects on psychological issues - with release of "happy hormones" (i.e. endorphins etc...; which reminds me of that even weirder study speculating on the obscure link with distance running & subsequent hormone production with human evolution :confused:) combating depression & mood disorders. Yet, I can't really grasp the significance/relevance of this study in relation to comparing two groups of runners wearing different shoe types on... "depression-relevant physiological or emotional functioning". Firstly they are just not testing "Barefoot Running" - the so called "barefoot" group are still wearing foot attire (Vibram FiveFinger)... whilst the other group seem to be running in their individual conventional running shoe (no brand/model listed)...

    The above "barefoot runners" would by the looks of things be considered experienced bare footers being the criteria is > 20miles (32km) running a week. Hence surely adapted to the act of barefoot running. Thus I would think dampening the relevance of the following hypotheses relating to "parasympathetic tone".

    However, reversing the scenario (groups) may be of interest... or, you could probably get more enlightening results from two groups of runners either 1) training under LSD (Long Slow Distance that is :eek:) or doing 2) Interval (& hill) work. I’m feel this may provide potentially interesting results relating to "physiology & mood".

    Anyway, the main flaw I can see is that "barefoot running" is not being tested here (only minimalist vs. conventional foot attire). If however they were to purely test barefoot running there may be another element which could come into play with regard to the title of the study of... "physiology & mood".

    There is another aspect of this so deemed "barefoot revolution" that I haven’t seen been discussed within running circles. I have never seen this aspect mentioned on the exhaustive Barefoot discussions found on Podiatry Arena (as far as I know), nor from the various Barefoot Running camps. I came across this issue about 2 years ago due to my interest in health & wellbeing topics. It is termed either "Grounding" or "Earthing"... & going by its proponents, it certainly is seen to have implications on the "physiological" (i.e. free radical/oxidative stress defence via taking up of "free electrons" from the ground, reduce inflammation, reduce coagulation/viscosity of blood etc...)... & on "mood" (i.e. "shifting autonomic nervous system to a point where it is functioning better", Vagal stimulation, higher exposure to negative ions etc...).

    One of the "Grounding"/"Earthing" proponents is Dr Stephen Sinatra (I believe a Cardiologist in the U.S) who has shared the following views...

    Here is a video with Dr Sinatra expressing views on "Grounding"/"Earthing"...

    So it would seem there could potentially be more reasons for these researchers to be following the true barefoot position with the removal of all foot attire (unless Vibram has its hand in the pot on this research as well) for the deemed "Barefoot" group when researching on the effects on "physiology & mood".

    There are quite a number of "Grounding"/"Earthing" related videos on YouTube – some more reputable than others. The following is a little teaser related to this area of "Grounding"/"Earthing"... which may have its own effect on "physiology & mood" on some members of this forum :rolleyes: :D... "Shoes: The World's Most Dangerous Invention?" (Albeit, the views expressed are not from a biomechanical perspective)...

    Now if only the barefoot brigade within the running community found this little beauty... to further justify their reasoning (or a certain anti-"BBS" evangelist here on P.A).
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  5. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Agreed. However in fairness to the researchers who have registered the trial they do state:

  6. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    It will be an interesting one to follow, given that the typical Vibram Five Fingers wearer is "different" to your typical runner.

    Remember this from another thread:
    Given it is a cross sectional observational study (why did they even register it at clinicaltrials.org?) and not a prospective randomized trial, I wonder how they will deal with those potential baseline characteristics that could differ between the two groups?

    In case anyone is wondering why its considered best practice to register a clinical trial (which the above study is not), see this thread for the reasons.
  7. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Read a quote the other day from standup comedian Rob Delaney which made me smile:

    “Rough day. My cousin Tony was diagnosed with whatever the f*** it is that makes you wear those 5-toed rubber shoes.”
  8. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member


    One of the "Grounding"/"Earthing" proponents is Dr Stephen Sinatra (I believe a Cardiologist in the U.S) who has shared the following views...

    Hundreds of anecdotal stories, as well as a dozen or so research studies, reveal that contact with the Earth is powerful medicine, and several major findings have emerged:

    1. Earthing restores a natural electrical state in the body, promoting a healthy shift away from sympathetic nervous system (stress) tone to parasympathetic (calming) mode;

    2. Earthing significantly reduces inflammation, and along with it pain, a result thought to come from the Earth's abundant negatively charged electrons flowing into the body and neutralising the positively-charged free radicals at the heart of oxidative damage and chronic inflammation, the cause of so many common diseases;

    3. Earthing generates a bloodthinning-like effect by improving the anti-clumping electrodynamics of red blood cells. Blood flow is enhanced.

    Anyone care to go into business by adding a bit of copper wire from the inside to the outside of a 'regular' running shoe? I am sure that it would be possible to develop "hundreds of anecdotal stories" stating how wonderful it is.

    Pity I have neither the time, nor the inclination to dupe the dopes.

    Bill Liggins
  9. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Yes, thanks Ian... I did know that. Pedantry aside (particularly when the details are important i.e. science research), the text continually goes on to cite "barefoot running" or alludes to barefoot running (compared to shod running) multiple times throughout the details (i.e. groups named “Barefoot runners” & “Shoed runners”). I just feel that research of this nature should be more precise with its outline objectives & terminology... but hey, I suppose we should all know (& expect by now) that this isn't always the case - for various reasons.
  10. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    There appears to be some results from this study:
    Running barefoot, running happy

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