New research suggests that minimal shoes like this improve your strike and reduce your risk of running injuriesThink some sneakers with all the bells and whistles will keep you from getting hurt while you run? Well then you’d better think again, at least according to a study released by Sport England.

According to research just released by Dr. Hannah Rice, runners who wear fancy sneakers are more likely to sustain a running injury than those wearing simpler, less cushioned shoes.  

While the findings may seem surprising, the reasoning behind them makes sense: thinner sneakers encourage runners to land on the balls of their feet, putting less stress on the body. In contrast, runners wearing heavily padded or highly designed sneakers feel comfortable running at full force and tend toward landing on their heels, which ends up placing intense pressure on their lower extremities.

Says Dr. Rice: “This research shows that running in minimal shoes and landing on the balls of your feet reduces loading rates and may therefore reduce the risk of injury.”

While this study is certainly interesting, it sometimes feels like every other running injury study contradicts the previous one just published.

As a runner’s podiatrist in Houston, I know how confusing the literature can be: run barefoot; wear maximalist shoes; know your heel strike; what’s your arch type…it can start to feel like too much information to process!

If you are concerned about running injuries but don’t know where to start when it comes to treating and preventing problems, schedule a consultation with Dr. Andrew Schneider.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.