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Barefoot Running: Is It Safe?

By on May 27, 2014

The science around the benefits or otherwise of barefoot running is mixed, writes Jon Anderson for Military Times, as coverage of the Vibram lawsuit spreads far and wide. But, for most barefoot runners, the appeal of minimalist running shoes remains undiminished.

Despite all the controversy, 70 percent of those who’ve purchased FiveFingers will continue to wear them according to a recent DealNews poll of more than 1,000 Vibram owners.

Other barefoot running stories

In other news:

  • Legal Newsline delves into the Vibram lawsuit in more detail. It notes that Class members will receive a refund payment up to $94 for up to two pairs of Vibram FiveFingers shoes. But that sum is dwarved by associated legal fees. Counsel will receive an amount that does not exceed 25 percent of the settlement fund, or $937,500, in attorneys’ fees.
  • With impeccable timing, Nate Helming (Competitor.com) sets out three tips for runners considering switching to barefoot running. They’re neatly summarised by: avoid the wholesale switch; read the signs; and there is no magic pill.
  • The list below gives a couple of earlier resources: from Runner’s World, including on how to prepare for the transition; and from Running Times, with three self-assessment tests to help you decide if your body is ready to take on minimalist running.

In addition, our featured video is a classic, covering the work of Harvard professor – and keen barefoot runner – Daniel Lieberman. His research suggests that with barefoot runners tending to land on their forefoot, they generate less impact shock than other runners in sports shoes who typically land heel first. That, so it’s argued, could minimise running-related injuries.

For a rather different, more humour-based examination of barefoot running, check out the video below:

Recommended reading on barefoot running

Have you come across an interesting article on the issue? If so, why not add to the list of useful barefoot running links below.

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