Running in modern, cushioned trainers may increase the risk of injuries, say scientists who have found that `minimal’ shoes with no cushioning put significantly less demand on a runner’s body.
Runners who wear running shoes with no cushioning land on the ball of their foot rather than the heel, researchers said.
They compared how quickly the force acts when runners’ feet hit the ground — known as loading rate — which has been shown to influence running injury risk.
The study of 29 runners found significantly lower loading rates for those who wore so-called minimal running shoes and landed on the ball of their foot, compared to people in normal running shoes, regardless of whether the latter landed on the heel or ball of the foot.
“So many people use running as a means of reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but about three quarters of runners get injured a year,” said Hannah Rice from the University of Exeter, UK.
“This research shows that running in minimal shoes and landing on the balls of your feet reduces loading rates and may reduce the risk of injury,” she said.