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Are Racing Flats The Right Choice For You?

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Nov. 19, 2012
  • Updated Feb. 1, 2013 at 9:03 AM UTC
Racing flats have been shown to promote shorter contact time with the ground.

Scientifically Proven Disadvantages Of Racing Flats

While analyzing the potential benefits of racing flats makes using them seem like a no-brainer, strapping on lightweight shoes does have its drawbacks.

1. Increased injury risk.

Without the abundant cushioning and support found in traditional shoes, racing flats increase peak pressure, maximum force, and contact area, which can result in higher occurrence of stress fractures and other stress-related injuries. Because training consistently and staying injury-free is the most important component to improving long-term, it’s important to think carefully about whether you’re ready to race in flats.

2. Increased recovery time after race.

Another potential disadvantage of racing flats related to increased injury risks is that the increased stress and peak forces require a longer recovery cycle. Even if you emerge from the race injury-free, racing in flats could mean it takes longer for your muscles to heal. This can be a perilous side-effect, especially if you’re already prone to overtraining or over-racing.

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FILED UNDER: Injury Prevention / Running Injuries / Shoes and Gear TAGS: / / /

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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