Are minimalist shoes bad news?

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Is it healthful?

Disclaimer:I was massive barefoot running skeptic, prior to writing this review. 

The story goes that in the 1960 Olympic marathon Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia took home the gold medal in nothing but barefeet.  Rather than considering Abebe’s training regime, environmental conditions (having to run everywhere) and natural ability, barefoot runners put his victory down to….well, his barefeet.  So are barefoot running and minimalist shoes all they’re cracked up to be?  Or are you wearing gloves on your feet for no reason.

Courtesy: http://sw1gym.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/barefoot_running_480_18ec9t1-18ec9t4.jpg Courtesy: http://sw1gym.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/barefoot_running_480_18ec9t1-18ec9t4.jpg

Running performance:

Running barefoot or in minimalist shoes has a small, beneficial effect on running efficiency and the metabolic cost (how much fuel we burn) of running when compared to heavier shoes (1). It may also slightly reduce the amount of oxygen we use to run (2).

Injury prevention:

Barefoot running appears to position the hips and knees in…

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