For the weekend warrior and competitive athlete: training to excel & avoid injuries. Specializing in Sports Medicine At Arlington Foot and Ankle. 703-516-9408
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Minimalism Shoes: Overdone and Running on Empty
5 years ago the minimalist running shoe was at it's infancy. Now the trend is overdone. If minimalist shoes were a stock I'd sell them short. That's not to say most people need running shoes that are built like a tank or have soles like a snow tire. After Chris McDougall's book Born to Run the seed was planted for the Vibram 5 finger and the Nike Free.now there are dozens of choices that are available. The minimalist movement also was further hyped by the culture of crossfit. If you are a podiatrist like I am you would see first hand the injuries that are direct results from these shoes. My introduction to minimalist shoes came when my friend Jay started running barefoot. He will be the first to tell you that barefoot and running in minimalist shoes are not the same thing. We also agree that running barefoot or in minimalist shoes require a lengthy transition. 5 years ago I started to blog about it and that led to an interview in the Baltimore Sun which was then noticed by an MSNBC producer and I ended up being part of a panel interview by Dr. Nancy on barefoot running. Now the trend is running on thin treads. If you are lean and fit it's one thing but for much of the rest of the running populace there is no doubt in my mind that you increase the odds of sustaining plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis and stress fractures, especially in the metatarsals.
Runner's World has pronounced the trend cooling over the past year.http://www.runnersworld.com/minimalist-shoes/more-support-for-slow-transition-to-minimalism
A recent article showed that runners had more injuries with minimalist shoes.One small study showed equal numbers of injuries with a neutral shoe vs. minimalist shoes but the numbers were small. Larger studies are difficult to conduct because controlling the variables of runner's body type and training. I don't put much stock in Dan Lieberman's claims off small studies of elite runners at Harvard. He's not the one seeing the runners outside the lab hobble into our clinics.
I started this blog to share cutting-edge knowledge from my medical practice and my experience with athletes and as an athlete myself. I was a walkon at I.U. for track and after getting hurt my first season switched over to bike racing and raced in the "Little 500". I teach skiing professionally and also fit soccer in between bike riding and running. You know who you are: the weekend warrior and more serious athletes: the best insights, protocols, tips, and tricks for training and living injury free. I welcome your feedback.