Thursday, September 16, 2010
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The latest trend in running shoes is no shoes at all, according to the September issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource.
New research is challenging the conventional wisdom about running shoes, which have been designed to promote shock absorption with elevated, cushioned heels.
There's scant evidence that this design prevents running injuries. Some research suggests that the typical running shoe might increase the likelihood of injury. Studies of how feet strike the ground when barefoot vs. shod reveal that shoeless runners avoid some high-impact forces — and possible injury — by not landing heel first.
Manufacturers have taken note and are developing new types of shoes to mimic the motion of barefoot running on soft ground. The new designs feature more flexible soles and less elevation and cushioning compared to traditional running shoes.
For those who continue to run injury free, there's no need to race to the store for a new style. But for runners who have been slowed by injury, an alternate shoe design is worth considering. A podiatrist could offer recommendations.
Women's HealthSource offers these tips for getting the right fit:
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