Barefoot and minimalist shoe wearers
reported a more anterior footstrike than traditionally shod runners, say
authors of an article
that will be published in the October-December issue of the US Army Medical Department Journal.
Traditionally shod runners were more likely to report injuries of the lower
extremities than runners who wear minimalist shoes.
For this retrospective descriptive epidemiology survey, the authors
recruited 2,509 runners (1,254 male, 1,255 female) aged 18 to 50 to complete an
anonymous online survey. The survey assessed running tendencies, footstrike
patterns, shoe preferences, and injury history. Reported footstrike patterns
were compared among 3 shoe groups: traditionally shod, minimalist shoes, and
barefoot runners. Overall and specific anatomical injury incidence was compared
between traditionally shod and minimalist shoe-wearing runners. They did not
include 1,605 runners in the analyses due to incomplete data or recent changes
in footstrike patterns and/or shoe selection.
Shoe selection was significantly associated with reported footstrike (χ²
(4df) =143.4). Barefoot and minimalist runners reported a more anterior
footstrike than traditionally shod runners. Traditionally shod runners were
3.41 times more likely to report injuries than experienced minimalist shoe
wearers (46.7% shod vs 13.7% minimalist, χ² (1df) =77.4, n=888). Minimalist
shoe wearers also reported fewer injuries at the hip, knee, lower leg, ankle,
and foot than traditionally shod runners.
Additional longitudinal prospective research is required to examine injury
incidence among various footstrike patterns and shoe preferences, the authors
The article was written by APTA members Donald
L. Goss, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, ATC, and Michael
T. Gross, PT, PhD, FAPTA.