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Barefoot jogging has long been promoted as a far more natural style of jogging.

It encourages runners to strike the bottom with their forefoot instead of their heels.

Research reports have demonstrated that athletes habitually heel strike had about 2 times the rate of repetitive worry injuries than athletes entire struck with their forefoot to start with. See: Landing Heel Very first when Jogging Doubles Strain Injury Costs, Shin Splints, Foot Pain

However the argument that barefoot jogging is more natural and thus far more economical within a metabolic sense has long been astonishingly proved incorrect by a current examine performed by scientists at the College of Colorado.

Wearing really gentle trainers lowered the energetic price tag of jogging by a small amount. This post testimonials the proof for and towards this argument.

A recent examine revealed inside the journal Drugs & Science in Sports & Exercise was performed using 12 well-trained male runners who had extensive experience with barefoot jogging. The exercise assessed whether donning sneakers (even really gentle ones)required far more electricity expenditure than going barefoot. In other words, does donning sneakers require far more electricity than going barefoot?

Based on the weight of the sneakers alone, one would expect that jogging barefoot would entail a lower metabolic price tag in terms of electricity expended than jogging in sneakers. Many previous reports have demonstrated that heavier sneakers increases the sub-maximal oxygen uptake by about 1% per 100 grams per shoe. Nevertheless, only 2 of the 7 reports for this topic, found that the difference in oxygen consumption between jogging barefoot and with sneakers was statistically different. These results immediately suggested that something else was preventing the difference being observed. This could be related to gait, foot-strike pattern, barefoot jogging experience, shoe construction, and perhaps the ability of the shoe to store electricity. The goal of the investigation examine was to quantify the metabolic impact of adding a simple mass to the feet, as well as jogging barefoot or with sneakers.The examine was designed to control for factors such ashow much barefoot jogging experience the subjects had, foot-strike pattern and footwear design and features.

Twelve male runners were chosen who had substantial barefoot jogging experience. They were required to run at 3.35 m/s (7.5 mph) on a motorized treadmill, using a mid-foot strike pattern. The runs were repeated when the subjects were barefoot and donning really lightweight cushioned sneakers. The sneakers chosen only weighed 150g per shoe. Additional trials were performed when little lead strips were attached to each foot and shoe - using weights of 150g, 300g and 450 g. For each run, the oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production were measuredand used to calculate metabolic power.

The oxygen consumption increased by about 1% for each 100 g of weight added per foot, whether the runner was barefoot or donning sneakers. Nevertheless no significant difference in oxygen consumption and metabolic power could be demonstrated between jogging barefoot and with sneakers. This meant that when jogging with sneakers the extra price tag of the added weight was compensated for by increased performance when donning sneakers. The consequence of this was that for any average weight shoe, jogging with sneakers was 3-4% far more economical in terns of oxygen consumption and metabolic power demand than jogging barefoot

The conclusion from this is that, despite the expectations, jogging barefoot provides no metabolic added benefits over jogging in lightweight, cushioned sneakers.

Maintaining your ideal stride length is also important.

Another study examined whether jogging economy differs in minimal sneakers versus standard trainers that have cushioning, elevated heels and arch supports. It also examined whether forefoot or rearfoot strike gaits were far more economical.

The examine found that:

  • after controlling for stride frequency and shoe mass, runners were 2.4% far more economical donning minimal sneakers and forefoot striking;
  • runners were 3.3% far more economical when donning minimal sneakers and rearfoot striking, than when donning standard sneakers;
  • no significant difference in metabolic coast was found between rearfoot or forefoot striking for either standard or minimal sneakers; (barefoot jogging was not tested)
  • More arch strain was reported when jogging barefoot using forefoot instead of rearfoot striking.
  • Plantarflexor force output was also found to be significantly higher in rearfoot instead of forefoot striking, and also in barefoot than jogging in sneakers.
  • Knee flexion and achilles tendon-triceps surae strain were both lower when jogging barefoot than in standard sneakers.


The conclusions from the examine was that runners donning minimal sneakers are significantly far more economical than those donning traditional trainers, regardless of strike type, though the differences are quite little. These differences occurred after controlling for stride frequency and shoe mass.

The likely reason for these differences is that far more elastic electricity is stored and released inside the lower part of the body and legs when jogging in minimal sneakers, compared with standard sneakers.

The overall conclusion is that the most electricity economical jogging occurs when donning minimal sneakers, instead of traditional sneakers or barefoot.

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