Follow up to Barefoot running and minimalist blog

A recent study by Goss and Gross (2012) (Relationship among self-reported shoe type, footstrike pattern, and injury incidence) reports that heel-strike runners (by self-report) also report 3.4 x greater likelihood of sustaining an injury compared with barefoot runners and/or minimalist runners who land on the midfoot or forefoot.  The authors are quick to point out that “landing” mechanics in this study was identified strictly by self-report, and unfortunately self-reported landing mechanics has been shown to be a very poor indicator of true landing style. In addition, “injury incidence” was also self-reported.  None the less, even with errors in self-report, this study certainly provides fuel for further investigation, and may be encouraging for those who are making that switch to the minimalist shoe and/or barefoot running.  Hopefully we’ll see a longitudinal study that follows runners of different landing mechanics and shoe wear (shod, minimal, barefoot)…and track injury incidence.  For now, one step at a time – proceed with caution.  Dosing is critical to success – as with any form of exercise/training program.