New Study Shows Running With Shoes To Be More Efficient Than Barefoot

A recent study at the University of Colorado has tested several experienced barefoot runners both with and without shoes. The studies have shown that the cushioning available from the lightweight running shoes that were tested led to less oxygen consumption and more efficiency than those who had run barefoot. One argument that the running shoes add weight and therefore slow the runner down, or decrease efficiency, did not prove true in this study.

It should be noted that this study did not evaluate differences in technique. Runners who were tested still seemed to run with a midstance strike, just as one does while running barefoot. In fact, I often recommend that runners in my Houston podiatry practice do run with a midfoot strike, even while wearing a structured shoe such as a conventional running shoe or one specially designed for such running styles, such as Newton running shoes. Midfoot strikes have been recommended when appropriate for runners long predating the current barefoot running focus.

While true that this is one isolated study which focuses on one element of running, it shows that studies are being done comparing barefoot running to running with shoes. This is an area where more research needs to be done and I look forward to seeing the results of future studies.

If you are experiencing any pain or injury when running, whether barefoot or with shoes, contact Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists to evaluate how you can continue moving forward with running while being pain-free.