Well, in some ways, Barefoot IS better!
In those famous words: Res ipsa loquitur (The thing speaks for itself)…Well sort of…

Though some research is conflicting regarding barefoot running as being better, or more injury preventative, chalk one up for the efficiency of barefoot.


vVO is percentage of maximal velocity of graded exercise test. in this case 70%.
VO(2) is the maximal amount of O2 the body utilizes for an exercise
RPE: is how hard you perceive you are working for a given exercise or task

video provided courtesy of Two Rivers Treads and Newton Running

Int J Sports Med. 2011 Jun;32(6):401-6. Epub 2011 Apr 6. Oxygen cost of running barefoot vs. running Shod. Hanson NJ, Berg K, Deka P, Meendering JR, Ryan C. Source

Health, Physical Education and Recreation, University of Nebraska at Omaha, United States. njhanson@gmail.com


The purpose of this study was to investigate the oxygen cost of running barefoot vs. running shod on the treadmill as well as overground. 10 healthy recreational runners, 5 male and 5 female, whose mean age was 23.8±3.39 volunteered to participate in the study. Subjects participated in 4 experimental conditions: 1) barefoot on treadmill, 2) shod on treadmill, 3) barefoot overground, and 4) shod overground. For each condition, subjects ran for 6 min at 70% vVO (2)max pace while VO (2), heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed. A 2 × 2 (shoe condition x surface) repeated measures ANOVA revealed that running with shoes showed significantly higher VO (2) values on both the treadmill and the overground track (p<0.05). HR and RPE were significantly higher in the shod condition as well (p<0.02 and p<0.01, respectively). For the overground and treadmill conditions, recorded VO (2) while running shod was 5.7% and 2.0% higher than running barefoot. It was concluded that at 70% of vVO (2)max pace, barefoot running is more economical than running shod, both overground and on a treadmill.

Pretty cool, eh?

Ivo and Shawn, 2 geeks making a difference