The running debate: barefoot vs shoes

If you’re a runner, then you’ve heard the ongoing battle over whether or not barefoot or minimalist running is better. It’s hard to say because many studies have tried to prove one over the other, but really there’s no clear argument.

Many claim barefoot running is the best because humans were born to run without shoes and it’s more natural. Some will state humans were evolved to run barefoot and shoes require more energy of the runner and reduce the amount of energy received to propel runners forward. Other will claim running barefoot is bad for your feet and could increase the possibility of injury/cuts.

According to a study performed by Rodger Kram of the University of Colorado, there could be an answer to this puzzling argument. In his study, which included barefoot and minimalist runners, Kram found that minimalist runners used less energy (3-4% less) than those who ran barefoot. He also found that 10 millimeters of cushioning could be the best amount for running shoes because it was still lightweight and required less energy.

Despite this study, there are others, which will vehemently argue against it. Keep in mind that barefoot running takes adapting to really get the most out of it. What are your thoughts? Do you prefer running barefoot or with shoes? Leave us a message on Facebook or Twitter!