Running Shoes Research Paper

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Does running in minimalist running shoes or running barefoot reduce injuries and improve form when compared to running in traditional running shoes?

Josh Devou

MG 110, Thomas College

Running shoes are the cornerstone of any runner’s training equipment. “It is estimated that 10–20% of the US population run regularly” (Jones, P. et al., 2012, p. 1). The modern running shoe is being challenged by new designs and new companies creating minimalist running shoes designed to provide the runner with minimal support but protection against the elements. Many runners are abandoning shoes altogether in an attempt to improve form and increase leg strength. Overuse injuries such as stress fractures and tendonitis can affect even the most elite runners. One of the least discussed aspects in the advertising and promotion of minimalist running shoes, is injury rates compared to
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While different sources use different terminology to refer to the type of running shoe, they are referring to one of these three categories. This paper’s aim is to use as few terms as possible but cannot control direct quotes of other researchers. Understanding the different terms is essential to comprehending which type of shoe is being discussed. Shod, traditional running shoes, conventional running shoes or modern running shoes refer to running shoes as most people think of them, shoes that provide significant heel cushioning and arch support and what the greater majority of runners wear. Minimalist running shoes or Vibram Fivefingers are shoes that are very light, usually less than 5oz that provide little to no arch support, little to no heel cushioning and are mainly worn to protect from sharp objects such as glass On the other end of the spectrum, there is barefoot running, which offers no protection from terrain or sharp
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