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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I am Sports Therapy student in Glasgow researching the effectiveness of barefoot running vs running shod.
If there is anyone with experience in barefoot running it would be greatly appreciated if you could answer some questions:)
1. What are some general pros and cons to running barefoot?
2. Have you noticed an increase or decrease in injury rate since starting to run barefoot?
3. Did you notice a difference in perceived exertion levels when switching to barefoot running?
4. Do you live in a place well suited to running barefoot?
I hope someone can help, thanks in advance!:)

Donald
 

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Hello @DonaldTait
Barefoot running is not popular, you might well struggle to get sufficient data.
You might want to expand your study, in fact it could well be a better study, to look at the effect of heel to toe drop in running shoes. I am a convert to Altra, which are zero drop running shoes (and incidentally have a very wide toe box to allow for spread) that have transformedmy running. What surprised me was how much height difference there is between heel and toe in most running shoes. Roughly, a ten degree drop means a 3cm height difference between front and rear of shoe. Thats enormous. There has to be a reason for it - but I dont get it?
Barefoot runners and Altra runners have a zero height difference between heel and toe, so the achilles tendon has to be 3cm longer.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello @DonaldTait
Barefoot running is not popular, you might well struggle to get sufficient data.
You might want to expand your study, in fact it could well be a better study, to look at the effect of heel to toe drop in running shoes. I am a convert to Altra, which are zero drop running shoes (and incidentally have a very wide toe box to allow for spread) that have transformedmy running. What surprised me was how much height difference there is between heel and toe in most running shoes. Roughly, a ten degree drop means a 3cm height difference between front and rear of shoe. Thats enormous. There has to be a reason for it - but I dont get it?
Barefoot runners and Altra runners have a zero height difference between heel and toe, so the achilles tendon has to be 3cm longer.......
Hello @DonaldTait
Barefoot running is not popular, you might well struggle to get sufficient data.
You might want to expand your study, in fact it could well be a better study, to look at the effect of heel to toe drop in running shoes. I am a convert to Altra, which are zero drop running shoes (and incidentally have a very wide toe box to allow for spread) that have transformedmy running. What surprised me was how much height difference there is between heel and toe in most running shoes. Roughly, a ten degree drop means a 3cm height difference between front and rear of shoe. Thats enormous. There has to be a reason for it - but I dont get it?
Barefoot runners and Altra runners have a zero height difference between heel and toe, so the achilles tendon has to be 3cm longer.......
Hi there Graeme, thanks for your reply! I would love to hear about how changing to a zero drop shoe has improved your running? Has it had an effect on your injury rates? are they comfortable enough to run in on all types of surfaces? have they improved your times? i have read some interesting information on how being barefoot or minimalist helps strengthen the peroneal muscles due to eccentric loading. Having a massive stack height in running shoes is so popular now, possibly down to the nike vaporflys.
 

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Hello @DonaldTait, your note is there now.
In the first year of running Altra Paradigm (Zero drop but cushioned) I had PB's and no injuries. Now on my 5th pair of the same and still no injuries. Stretching after run is important though, particularly calf.
I did used to suffer from occasional plantar, but not since using these shoes.
With regard to "are they comfortable enough to run in on all types of surfaces? ". I am not really sure what you mean. I am a road runner rather than track and rarely run less than 10k on any run. The paradigms are good for light trails but not for mud, so I use another Altra shoe with a more agressive tread for XC.
Seems to me that only the very top athletes will truly benefit from vaporflys, the posture of the runner must be critically important and most regular runners do not have a great posture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hi @GraemeL, great info, this is very useful for me as I can relate it to barefoot because of the zero drop. Thanks for answering my questions:)
 

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This isn't based on scientific theory, but personally i love running barefoot, and i think it just makes sense. Our ancestors (and the last living hunter gatherers), aren't running around in Nike Air's, they're using their feet, kind of like nature intended. The problem is that this is great for running in nature, but not so much running on concrete, which i feel has a detrimental effect on my feet.

If you can find a nice grass area to run nothings beat bare feet in my opinion :)
 

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I'm interested in tapping into barefoot type shoes for building up strength in the achilles and calfs. Have you found in your research anyone using barefoot / zero drop shoes for this purpose? Usually the debate is zero drop vs stacked shoe. Not a mixture of using both, but more about making the transition to zero drop shoe or barefoot entirely. I'm not necessarily interested in making the permanent transition to barefoot, but more interested in the benefits some use of zero drop shoes can bring to my running (in stacked shoes- the vapporfly).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm interested in tapping into barefoot type shoes for building up strength in the achilles and calfs. Have you found in your research anyone using barefoot / zero drop shoes for this purpose? Usually the debate is zero drop vs stacked shoe. Not a mixture of using both, but more about making the transition to zero drop shoe or barefoot entirely. I'm not necessarily interested in making the permanent transition to barefoot, but more interested in the benefits some use of zero drop shoes can bring to my running (in stacked shoes- the vapporfly).
Hi there, I will send you my finished report on the subject!
 
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