Sole Man: 12 Things We Learned About Minimalism

There is no evidence that the prevalence of running injuries has diminished in recent years since the advent of minimalism. Photo:

Minimalism Hasn’t Reduced The Frequency Of Injuries

Some proponents of minimalism will suggest that running in minimalist footwear can make you a stronger runner and a runner less likely to get injured. Is that really true? Maybe, maybe not. As with many things, it depends on a lot of factors, including how diligent you pursue it. While many runners have personal tales about their own transformation, there hasn’t been a single study to suggest either claim is true. There’s plenty allegorical evidence and many who can attest to improved running through occasional or frequent use of minimalist shoes. However, it’s quite possible that there are as many runners who have gotten hurt from running in minimalist footwear as who have gotten noticeably stronger, faster or more fit.

Why have runners gotten hurt wearing minimalist shoes? Is it solely because those runners were running in “barely there” shoes or because they didn’t develop the proper strength, flexibility and mechanics for their body to maintain the necessary form to run in footwear with little padding and protection? The bottom line is that most surveys — from the past 25 years up to the present day — suggest that 40 to 60 percent of runners are injured every year. It might or might not be because of the shoes. It might be as much about a runner’s strength, fitness, mechanics, training or individual physique.

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