Running Barefoot Probably Doesn't Help Much

A team of researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder measured the metabolic burn of a dozen experienced barefoot/barely shod runners and found that, contrary to current trends in running, running with lightweight shoes actually burned 4 per cent less energy than running barefoot.

The obvious caveats are that the study didn't look at injuries or strains due to wearing shoes, and that the shoes were super lightweight Nike Mayfly models, not your average pair. But it's worth considering if you're working to shave every last second off your race times, or to get a bit farther on your exercise runs.

Making the Case for Running Shoes [NYTimes.com]


Comments

    Dooh - it's about convenience.

    If you're looking for extra calories burnt, wear weights on your ankle.

      lol exactly, why was this study even performed?
      It's about convenience and using the muscles in your foot that don't otherwise get used (aka, not screwing your knees).

      If they want to do studies on barefoot running, they should focus on injuries and health of the legs.

        Exactly, Bdc. The focus should be on posture and injuries.

    One of the key benefits of barefoot running is that it forces you to absorb more of the impact with your leg muscles. If indeed this does require more energy, in my opinion it is well spent. Since transitioning to a forefoot strike and minimalist footwear I have eliminated the niggling hip and knee injuries which plagued me previously.

    If your article is titled "Running Barefoot Probably Doesn’t Help Much", shouldn't the point of the article be "running barefoot only burned 4 per cent more energy than running with lightweight shoes" instead of the other way around? Also, as mentioned above and in the article, the study didn't look at injuries/posture which is usually the benefit of barefoot running.

    The thing with running barefoot is really it should be used as a way of adding variety to your training but not at the be all and end all if training.

    Using less energy in excersice....... anyone actually notice this is actually great if your are competing and training. Running from a wild beast trying to eat you or trying to finish a marathon........hell yeah. Two reasons I'll take burning less calories thank you.

    maybe not for the overweight trying to lose weight but they should be on a bike instead anyway.

Join the discussion!