Barefoot running is Barefoot running. There is no substitute

umage source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:06patriotsrun5.jpg

umage source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:06patriotsrun5.jpg

There is nothing quite like running barefoot .. literally ..

There are few studies which examined barefoot versus simulated barefoot versus shod running and this is one of them (1). The forefoot strike pattern and shorter stride length (or increased cadence, provided velocity is constant) often associated with barefoot running, as well as simulated barefoot running seems, to decrease vertical impact loading rates, depending upon the angle of the foot on landing and seem desirable for decreasing injury risk (2-4).

Running barefoot has the greatest amount of ankle dorsiflexion, plantar flexion and thus total range of motion with the knee flexion angle being the least when comparing it to shod and stimulated barefoot running. stride length was shorter and cadence increased, as was suspected and has been reported in many other studies. It is surprising that and stimulated barefoot running, the forefoot strike was there however cadence and stride length did not really change.

In short, the runners were able to simulate some elements of barefoot running, but they did not completely mimic it.

Want to know more? Join us this Wednesday on onlinece.com: Biomechanics 303 for a lively discussion of barefoot running and more. 8 EST, 7 CST, 6 MST, 5PST

  1. Leblanc M, Ferkranus H. Lower Extremity Joint Kinematics of Shod, Barefoot, and Simulated Barefoot Treadmill Running. Int J Exerc Sci. 2018;11(1):717-729.

    link to FREE FULL TEXT: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6033505/#b31-ijes-11-1-717

  2. Shih Y, Lin KL, Shiang TY. Is the foot striking pattern more important than barefoot or shod conditions in running? Gait Posture. 2013;88(4):116–120. [PubMed]

  3. Hobara H, Sato T, Sakaguchi M, Nakazawa K. Step frequency and lower extremity loading during running. Int J Sports Med. 2012;2012;33:310–313. [PubMed]

  4. Thompson MA, Lee SS, Seegmiller J, McGowan CP. Kinematic and kinetic comparison of barefoot and shod running in mid/forefoot and rearfoot strike runners. Gait Posture. 2015;41:957–959. [PubMed]

Podcast 70: Achilles Solutions and Foot Cases

The Achilles and Calf: Achieve Posterior Length via Anterior Strength

A. Link to our server: 

Direct Download: 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/pod_70final_was71.mp3

Permalink: http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/podcast-70-0B. 

iTunes link:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138

C. Gait Guys online /download store (National Shoe Fit Certification and more !) :

http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.aspx?m=80204

D. other web based Gait Guys lectures:

www.onlinece.com   type in Dr. Waerlop or Dr. Allen,  ”Biomechanics”

______________

Today’s Show notes:

*Show sponsor: Lems Shoes.  www.lemsshoes.com
Mention GAIT15 at check out for a 15% discount through August 31st.
 
1. Achilles tendons, loading, and biomechanical changes with different shoes and heel stack heights.
 
2. Aging adults, falls and keeping them and their gait safe.
 
3. Gait and speed evolution of vertebrates.
 
4. Blaise Dubois et al on Barefoot Running. Shod vs unshod.
 
5. Females, pronation, and back pain. The Framingham foot study.
 
6. Your feet and orienteering.
 
7. A case of calcaneal valgus in a youngster.
 
8. Structural integrity is decreased in both Achilles tendons in people with unilateral Achilles tendinopathy
http://www.jsams.org/article/S1440-2440(14)00115-7/abstract
Though you weigh less when naked, it doesn’t mean you are more efficient…  
  “Running barefoot offers no metabolic advantage over running in lightweight, cushioned shoes.”  
 This study looked at VO2 max (ie. the bodies ability to utilize oxygen, or more precisely, the maximal oxygen uptake or the maximum volume of oxygen that can be utilized in one minute during maximal or exhaustive exercise. It is measured as milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight ). 
 The study found that VO2 increased as weight was added to the foot, whether or not ehy were wearing shoes AND there was not significant difference. 
  “V˙O(2) increased by approximately 1% for each 100 g added per foot, whether barefoot or shod (P < 0.001). However, barefoot and shod running did not significantly differ in V˙O(2) or metabolic power. A consequence of these two findings was that for footwear conditions of equal mass, shod running had ∼3%-4% lower V˙O(2) and metabolic power demand than barefoot running (P < 0.05).”  
 An interesting finding was that VO2 was actually 3-4% less for shod running than barefoot, indicating increased metabolic efficiency (albeit small) for shoes .  
 Why? Our theory is increased biomechanical efficiency with shoes. Shoes, creating less pronatory force and accessory motion (due to cushioning and constraints of the shoe; ie it takes some of the complexity out of the motion) created a more rigid lever with better force transduction. 
  The Gait Guys. Asking the hard questions and giving you the facts with each post.         

     
  Med Sci Sports Exerc.  2012 Aug;44(8):1519-25. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182514a88. 
 Metabolic cost of running barefoot versus shod: is lighter better? 
  Franz JR ,  Wierzbinski CM ,  Kram R . 
 
 Source 
 Locomotion Lab, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA. jason.franz@colorado.edu 
 
 
 Abstract 
 PURPOSE: 
 Based on mass alone, one might intuit that running barefoot would exact a lower metabolic cost than running in shoes. Numerous studies have shown that adding mass to shoes increases submaximal oxygen uptake (V˙O(2)) by approximately 1% per 100 g per shoe. However, only two of the seven studies on the topic have found a statistically significant difference in V˙O(2) between barefoot and shod running. The lack of difference found in these studies suggests that factors other than shoe mass (e.g., barefoot running experience, foot strike pattern, shoe construction) may play important roles in determining the metabolic cost of barefoot versus shod running. Our goal was to quantify the metabolic effects of adding mass to the feet and compare oxygen uptake and metabolic power during barefoot versus shod running while controlling for barefoot running experience, foot strike pattern, and footwear. 
 METHODS: 
 Twelve males with substantial barefoot running experience ran at 3.35 m·s with a midfoot strike pattern on a motorized treadmill, both barefoot and in lightweight cushioned shoes (∼150 g per shoe). In additional trials, we attached small lead strips to each foot/shoe (∼150, ∼300, and ∼450 g). For each condition, we measured the subjects’ rates of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production and calculated metabolic power. 
 RESULTS: 
 V˙O(2) increased by approximately 1% for each 100 g added per foot, whether barefoot or shod (P < 0.001). However, barefoot and shod running did not significantly differ in V˙O(2) or metabolic power. A consequence of these two findings was that for footwear conditions of equal mass, shod running had ∼3%-4% lower V˙O(2) and metabolic power demand than barefoot running (P < 0.05). 
 CONCLUSIONS: 
 Running barefoot offers no metabolic advantage over running in lightweight, cushioned shoes. 
 
 PMID: 22367745  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22367745  
  all material copyright 2013 The Gait Guys/The Homunculus Group .

Though you weigh less when naked, it doesn’t mean you are more efficient…

“Running barefoot offers no metabolic advantage over running in lightweight, cushioned shoes.”

This study looked at VO2 max (ie. the bodies ability to utilize oxygen, or more precisely, the maximal oxygen uptake or the maximum volume of oxygen that can be utilized in one minute during maximal or exhaustive exercise. It is measured as milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight ).

The study found that VO2 increased as weight was added to the foot, whether or not ehy were wearing shoes AND there was not significant difference.

“V˙O(2) increased by approximately 1% for each 100 g added per foot, whether barefoot or shod (P < 0.001). However, barefoot and shod running did not significantly differ in V˙O(2) or metabolic power. A consequence of these two findings was that for footwear conditions of equal mass, shod running had ∼3%-4% lower V˙O(2) and metabolic power demand than barefoot running (P < 0.05).”

An interesting finding was that VO2 was actually 3-4% less for shod running than barefoot, indicating increased metabolic efficiency (albeit small) for shoes.

Why? Our theory is increased biomechanical efficiency with shoes. Shoes, creating less pronatory force and accessory motion (due to cushioning and constraints of the shoe; ie it takes some of the complexity out of the motion) created a more rigid lever with better force transduction.

The Gait Guys. Asking the hard questions and giving you the facts with each post.       


Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Aug;44(8):1519-25. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182514a88.

Metabolic cost of running barefoot versus shod: is lighter better?

Source

Locomotion Lab, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA. jason.franz@colorado.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Based on mass alone, one might intuit that running barefoot would exact a lower metabolic cost than running in shoes. Numerous studies have shown that adding mass to shoes increases submaximal oxygen uptake (V˙O(2)) by approximately 1% per 100 g per shoe. However, only two of the seven studies on the topic have found a statistically significant difference in V˙O(2) between barefoot and shod running. The lack of difference found in these studies suggests that factors other than shoe mass (e.g., barefoot running experience, foot strike pattern, shoe construction) may play important roles in determining the metabolic cost of barefoot versus shod running. Our goal was to quantify the metabolic effects of adding mass to the feet and compare oxygen uptake and metabolic power during barefoot versus shod running while controlling for barefoot running experience, foot strike pattern, and footwear.

METHODS:

Twelve males with substantial barefoot running experience ran at 3.35 m·s with a midfoot strike pattern on a motorized treadmill, both barefoot and in lightweight cushioned shoes (∼150 g per shoe). In additional trials, we attached small lead strips to each foot/shoe (∼150, ∼300, and ∼450 g). For each condition, we measured the subjects’ rates of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production and calculated metabolic power.

RESULTS:

V˙O(2) increased by approximately 1% for each 100 g added per foot, whether barefoot or shod (P < 0.001). However, barefoot and shod running did not significantly differ in V˙O(2) or metabolic power. A consequence of these two findings was that for footwear conditions of equal mass, shod running had ∼3%-4% lower V˙O(2) and metabolic power demand than barefoot running (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Running barefoot offers no metabolic advantage over running in lightweight, cushioned shoes.

PMID: 22367745
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22367745

all material copyright 2013 The Gait Guys/The Homunculus Group.

Is Barefoot more economical ?

Researchers at England’s Northumbria University analyzed the gait and oxygen uptake of 18 recreational and elite runners performing a series running tasks both barefoot and shod.

Dr. Michael Wilkinson, lead researcher and avid barefoot runner determined the following in their study:

- a significant saving in energy from taking off running shoes

- mechanical differences in the foot strike patterns (shod runners did more heel strike, unshod were more midfoot striking)

- there were immediate foot strike changes in previously shod  runners who suddenly changed to unshod foot strike

- there is less oxygen use during barefoot running compared to running shod at the same speed. Hence improved running economy.

Characteristically, skilled unshod runners have a distinctive running gait utilizing:

- mid-foot landing

- shorter stride lengths

- faster stride rates

- reduced ground contact time

- lower impact force and loading rates which dampens injury inducing forces

- reduced oxygen utilization. The 6% improvement in economy was the same as that previously reported after a nine-week training program for shoe-wearing runners, who also enjoyed a 3% improvement in running performance.

Click on the link above for the Science article.

Here are some excerpts from a talk we did earlier in 2011. Dr. Shawn Allen talks to a private industry group about shoes, shod and unshod ambulation, the research based facts from both old and new studies, and thoughts about the benefits and caveats of going into minimalistic footwear or barefoot.
Thank you for watching our video, please feel free to share it with anyone and everyone. We have lots of other videos here on youtube.
Shawn and Ivo…..The Gait Guys

Shod vs. Unshod : What the Lieberman-Harvard study really said.  
  Shod vs. Unshod : What the Lieberman-Harvard study really said.  
 Thanks to OwenAnderson of  Educatedrunner.com for this excellent article. 
  http://educatedrunner.com/Blog/tabid/633/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/797/BAREFOOT-RUNNING-WHAT-THE-HARVARD-STUDY-REALLY-SAID.aspx  
 If you are paying attention to everything that is going on, you want   to read this well thought out article.  The Gait Guys are digesting  this  article and we will render our thoughts and opinions shortly.   But,  differing points of view, when laid out logically and with sound  reason,  deserve consideration. This is how the truth is eventually  discovered. 
 Give this article a productive and attentive read.  We will get back to you shortly. 
 Summary statement seems to be this….. (quoted word from word from the article). 
 _____________________________________________________ 
 “Ironically, the popular press has been using the Harvard study as a   launching pad for the idea that barefoot running is healthier than shod   ambling, even though Lieberman’s paper provided no data at all to test   the idea that barefoot running lowers the risk of running injuries! 
    Here’s what Lieberman  et al  actually found:    
 (A) Habitually shod runners (groups 1 and 5 from above) who grew up   wearing shoes are usually rear-foot strikers (RFS), meaning that their   heels make the first impacts with the ground during running, right at   the beginning of the stance phase of gait. This is not new   information. The strong link between running in shoes and heel-striking   has been known for many years.    
 (B) Runners who grew up running barefooted or who switched to   running barefooted (groups 2, 3, and 4) are generally fore-foot strikers   (FFS), meaning that they tend to land initially on the balls of their   feet while running, after which their heels drop down to make contact   with the ground. Again, this is nothing new – the tight connection   between barefoot running and FFS (and also MFS, mid-foot striking) has   been general knowledge for years.    
 &copy; Impact forces transmitted through the foot, ankle, and leg   immediately after impact with the ground are about three times greater   in shod runners using RFS, compared with barefoot runners with FFS. Some   – but not all - previous studies have shown this same relationship,   with RFS producing greater impact force during the first portion of   stance, compared with MFS and FFS. The sudden rise in force with RFS,   immediately after ground contact, is known as the “impact   transient.” The disparity in impact transient between barefoot and shod   running represents a “foundation” for the belief that barefoot running   is “safer” and less injury producing. While this appears to be logical   thinking, it is important to know that no study has ever shown that   greater impact forces during the first portion of stance magnify the   risk of running injury.    
 (D) Rates of loading of impact force are actually quite similar   between shod RFS runners and barefoot FFS athletes (Figure 2b from the  Nature  paper). The rate at which impact force is loaded into the leg has also   been suggested to be a risk factor for injury, although convincing  proof  of this notion does not exist.    
 (E) During the early stance phase of barefoot FFS running, there is   greater knee flexion, greater dorsi-flexion at the ankle, and a   74-percent-greater drop in the center of mass, compared with shod RFS   running. “Vertical compliance” is defined as the drop in the runner’s   center of mass relative to the vertical force during the impact period   of stance, and it is obviously greater in barefoot FFS running, compared   with shod RFS. Vertical compliance varies as a function of   running-surface hardness, and this is why force-loading rates are   similar for barefoot FFS runners over a wide array of running surfaces   (the runners adjust compliance according to surface). This is not novel   information, however.    
 (F) During barefoot FFS ambling, the ground reaction force torques   the foot around the ankle (and therefore increases the amount of work   carried out by the ankle, compared with shod RFS running). With shod RFS   running, the ankle converts little impact energy into rotational   energy. Potentially, this could spike the rate of ankle-area injuries   (for example in the Achilles tendon and calf) for barefoot runners,   although this hypothesis has not been tested.    
 And that was pretty much it! The  Nature  investigation did   disclose some interesting information about the effective mass of the   foot and shank (which we won’t discuss here), but it offered no other   information about the potential links between barefoot running and   either injury or performance.     And that’s why it’s too early for you  to consider changing from  shod to barefoot running, unless such a shift  would be a lot of fun for  you.  
 There’s just no proof that barefoot running will reduce your risk  of  injury or make you faster.     In fact, it’s important to remember that  most injuries in running  are caused by an imbalance between the strain  and micro-damage  experienced by a muscle or connective tissue during  training and the  tissue’s ability to recover from such stress. This  imbalance can occur  when training is conducted shod – or barefooted! A  weak or overly tight  hamstring muscle which has been undone by  excessive mileage won’t care  if its owner was running barefooted or  wearing shoes – it will still  feel the pain. ”  -   
  Owen Andersson,     http://educatedrunner.com/Blog/tabid/633/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/797/BAREFOOT-RUNNING-WHAT-THE-HARVARD-STUDY-REALLY-SAID.aspx

Shod vs. Unshod : What the Lieberman-Harvard study really said.

Shod vs. Unshod : What the Lieberman-Harvard study really said.

Thanks to OwenAnderson of  Educatedrunner.com for this excellent article.

http://educatedrunner.com/Blog/tabid/633/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/797/BAREFOOT-RUNNING-WHAT-THE-HARVARD-STUDY-REALLY-SAID.aspx

If you are paying attention to everything that is going on, you want to read this well thought out article.  The Gait Guys are digesting this article and we will render our thoughts and opinions shortly.  But, differing points of view, when laid out logically and with sound reason, deserve consideration. This is how the truth is eventually discovered.

Give this article a productive and attentive read.  We will get back to you shortly.

Summary statement seems to be this….. (quoted word from word from the article).

_____________________________________________________

“Ironically, the popular press has been using the Harvard study as a launching pad for the idea that barefoot running is healthier than shod ambling, even though Lieberman’s paper provided no data at all to test the idea that barefoot running lowers the risk of running injuries!

  Here’s what Lieberman et al actually found:  

(A) Habitually shod runners (groups 1 and 5 from above) who grew up wearing shoes are usually rear-foot strikers (RFS), meaning that their heels make the first impacts with the ground during running, right at the beginning of the stance phase of gait. This is not new information. The strong link between running in shoes and heel-striking has been known for many years.  

(B) Runners who grew up running barefooted or who switched to running barefooted (groups 2, 3, and 4) are generally fore-foot strikers (FFS), meaning that they tend to land initially on the balls of their feet while running, after which their heels drop down to make contact with the ground. Again, this is nothing new – the tight connection between barefoot running and FFS (and also MFS, mid-foot striking) has been general knowledge for years.  

© Impact forces transmitted through the foot, ankle, and leg immediately after impact with the ground are about three times greater in shod runners using RFS, compared with barefoot runners with FFS. Some – but not all - previous studies have shown this same relationship, with RFS producing greater impact force during the first portion of stance, compared with MFS and FFS. The sudden rise in force with RFS, immediately after ground contact, is known as the “impact transient.” The disparity in impact transient between barefoot and shod running represents a “foundation” for the belief that barefoot running is “safer” and less injury producing. While this appears to be logical thinking, it is important to know that no study has ever shown that greater impact forces during the first portion of stance magnify the risk of running injury.  

(D) Rates of loading of impact force are actually quite similar between shod RFS runners and barefoot FFS athletes (Figure 2b from the Nature paper). The rate at which impact force is loaded into the leg has also been suggested to be a risk factor for injury, although convincing proof of this notion does not exist.  

(E) During the early stance phase of barefoot FFS running, there is greater knee flexion, greater dorsi-flexion at the ankle, and a 74-percent-greater drop in the center of mass, compared with shod RFS running. “Vertical compliance” is defined as the drop in the runner’s center of mass relative to the vertical force during the impact period of stance, and it is obviously greater in barefoot FFS running, compared with shod RFS. Vertical compliance varies as a function of running-surface hardness, and this is why force-loading rates are similar for barefoot FFS runners over a wide array of running surfaces (the runners adjust compliance according to surface). This is not novel information, however.  

(F) During barefoot FFS ambling, the ground reaction force torques the foot around the ankle (and therefore increases the amount of work carried out by the ankle, compared with shod RFS running). With shod RFS running, the ankle converts little impact energy into rotational energy. Potentially, this could spike the rate of ankle-area injuries (for example in the Achilles tendon and calf) for barefoot runners, although this hypothesis has not been tested.  

And that was pretty much it! The Nature investigation did disclose some interesting information about the effective mass of the foot and shank (which we won’t discuss here), but it offered no other information about the potential links between barefoot running and either injury or performance.   And that’s why it’s too early for you to consider changing from shod to barefoot running, unless such a shift would be a lot of fun for you. 

There’s just no proof that barefoot running will reduce your risk of injury or make you faster.   In fact, it’s important to remember that most injuries in running are caused by an imbalance between the strain and micro-damage experienced by a muscle or connective tissue during training and the tissue’s ability to recover from such stress. This imbalance can occur when training is conducted shod – or barefooted! A weak or overly tight hamstring muscle which has been undone by excessive mileage won’t care if its owner was running barefooted or wearing shoes – it will still feel the pain. ” -

Owen Andersson, http://educatedrunner.com/Blog/tabid/633/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/797/BAREFOOT-RUNNING-WHAT-THE-HARVARD-STUDY-REALLY-SAID.aspx