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Minimalist runners have been shown to have a different gait pattern
with lower impact forces than habitually shod runners. Running in
minimalist footwear has been promoted as a means of reducing or
eliminating running injuries by returning to a more natural gait.
Methods: Ten experienced runners, age 21 to 57 (mean, 43) years, were
identified with injuries within 1 year of transition from traditional
to minimalist running footwear. Patients were interviewed to determine
their running history, injury history, transition to minimalist
footwear, and their new injury including its treatment and recovery.
Results: Ten patients who ran with traditional footwear ran an average
of 25.9 (range, 6 to 45) miles/week for an average of 18.9 (range, 1 to
40) years presented with injuries 2.8 (range 1 to 10) months after
switching to minimalist footwear. Their injuries included eight
metatarsal stress fractures, a calcaneal stress fracture, and a plantar
fascia rupture. All patients had a successful recovery and returned to
their previous level of running.
Conclusion: Injuries including stress fractures and plantar fascia rupture have been observed in minimalist runners.
If the function of a title is to give an clear idea of the subject of the study. 'Minimalist runner' doesn't work for me.
Surely the ultimate in 'minimalist runner' is a couch potato or an extremely short runner or even one where the period when both feet are off the ground is as short as it can possible be or one who runs very short distances?
It's a bad start. If the title isn't well considered is the rest of it likely to be any better?
In fairness, this is only a retrospective case series, just one step up the evidence hierarchy ladder from an anecdote.
Given that all the anecdotes, rhetoric and propaganda are that you get less injuries if you run barefoot or in minimalist shoes this case series confirms that this is not the case (not to mention all the runners on running forums asking for injury advice from minimalist/barefoot running!)