Runners should limit their weekly training distance in minimalist shoes to avoid running-related pain, with heavier runners having a greater risk of injury

In April 2017 researchers from Australia published the results of their study to compare running-related pain and injury between minimalist and conventional shoes in trained runners and to assess interactions between shoe type, body mass, and weekly training distance. 61 trained individuals, who ran an average weekly distance of 25km on a regular basis, were asked to use either minimalist or conventional shoes for a period of 26 weeks and to gradually increase the time spent running. Running-related pain intensity was measured on a weekly basis and time to running-related injury was also assessed. Results showed that greater pain was experienced with minimalist shoes which increased when the weekly training distance was over 35 km/week. 11 out of 30 runners sustained an injury in conventional shoes compared with 16 out of 31 runners in minimalist shoes. A further analysis revealed that for users of minimalist shoes there was a shoe × body mass interaction for time to first running-related injury with the risk of sustaining an injury becoming more likely with an increasing body mass above 71.4 kg. In fact, it was noted that the risk became moderately increased for runners using minimalist shoes if they had a body mass of 85.7 kg.

Fuller JT et al. Body Mass and Weekly Training Distance Influence the Pain and Injuries Experienced by Runners Using Minimalist Shoes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Am J Sports Med. 2017 Apr;45(5):1162-1170 

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