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Study: Running With Shoes More Efficient

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 28, 2012
  • Updated Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:46 AM UTC
Researchers at the University of Colorado have found running in shoes to be more efficient than running barefoot. Photo: New York Daily News

Researchers from the University of Colorado will be releasing their findings shortly.

Barefoot enthusiasts be wary: Researchers at the University of Colorado have found that runners who wear shoes are three to four percent more efficient than they are running barefoot.

The findings will soon be published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal.

RELATED: A Physical Therapist’s Take On Running Mechanics

Efficiency aside, barefoot advocates argue that it’s not about efficiency so much as it’s about injury prevention. Running sans shoes is supposed to help maintain the foot’s 26 bones as well as its associated ligaments, mucles, and tendons.

The director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center, Robert Gotlin, says it’s about biomechanics.

Shod runners typically land on the heel of their foot, while barefoot runners tend to land on the front of their feet.

“As such, when you land on your forefoot, the force upon the body is reduced significantly,” he says.

The barefoot crowd also says that going shoe-free helps strengthen the plantar fascia muscles.

For More: New York Daily News

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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