We have long been interested in how shoe-type affects running mechanics. Below are videos of running in 4 different types of footwear: Asics, Nike Frees, New Balance Minimus, and Barefoot. There is a progression from restrictive footwear to barefoot. Asics are your traditional running shoe in that they provide extensive heel cushioning. Nike Free represent a movement towards the minimalist side. While Nike proclaims the shoes are a minimalist shoe, it still has significant heel cushioning. However, the flexibility of the forefoot allows for greater intrinsic foot muscle control. The New Balance Minimus is one of the shoes on the market that is closest to simulating barefoot running, while still providing protection to the tissue of the foot. Barefoot is pretty self-explanatory. Additionally, the runner was recorded at 2 speeds, jogging pace and a faster paced run, for each shoe type.
-Increased smoothness as footwear advanced towards barefoot
-Heel-strike most prominent in Asics. While heel-strike was notable with Nike Frees, it was not as exagerated.
-Interestingly, decreased based of support with the New Balance Minimus. The stance leg crosses into midline, while in the other shoe-types the stance leg stays ipsilaterally.
-At the time of this recording, Chris primarily ran in the Nike Frees, but running in the New Balance Minimus felt like it had the lowest energy expenditure.
-The Asics fatigued Chris the most, likely due to the increased plantarflexion torque. Chris' dorsiflexors weren't used to having to compensate for plantarflexion torque caused by the increased heel cushion during heel strike.
-While barefoot running felt comfortable on Chris' calves, the stressed placed on his MTP joints prohibited him from running barefoot for prolonged periods.