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Type: Journal article
Title: Six-week transition to minimalist shoes improves running economy and time-trial performance
Author: Fuller, J.
Thewlis, D.
Tsiros, M.
Brown, N.
Buckley, J.
Citation: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2017; 20(12):1117-1122
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 1440-2440
Statement of
Joel T. Fuller, Dominic Thewlis, Margarita D. Tsiros, Nicholas A.T. Brown, Jonathan D. Buckley
Abstract: <h4>Objectives</h4>This study investigated if gradually introducing runners to minimalist shoes during training improved running economy and time-trial performance compared to training in conventional shoes. Changes in stride rate, stride length, footfall pattern and ankle plantar-flexor strength were also investigated.<h4>Design</h4>Randomised parallel intervention trial.<h4>Methods</h4>61 trained runners gradually increased the amount of running performed in either minimalist (n=31) or conventional (n=30) shoes during a six-week standardised training program. 5-km time-trial performance, running economy, ankle plantar-flexor strength, footfall pattern, stride rate and length were assessed in the allocated shoes at baseline and after training. Footfall pattern was determined from the time differential between rearfoot and forefoot (TD<sub>R-F</sub>) pressure sensors.<h4>Results</h4>The minimalist shoe group improved time-trial performance (effect size (ES): 0.24; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.01, 0.48; p=0.046) and running economy (ES 0.48; 95%CI: 0.22, 0.74; p<0.001) more than the conventional shoe group. There were no minimalist shoe training effects on ankle plantar-flexor concentric (ES: 0.11; 95%CI: -0.18, 0.41; p=0.45), isometric (ES: 0.23; 95%CI: -0.17, 0.64; p=0.25), or eccentric strength (ES: 0.24; 95%CI: -0.17, 0.65; p=0.24). Minimalist shoes caused large reductions in TD<sub>R-F</sub> (ES: 1.03; 95%CI: 0.65, 1.40; p<0.001) but only two runners changed to a forefoot footfall. Minimalist shoes had no effect on stride rate (ES: 0.04; 95%CI: -0.08, 0.16; p=0.53) or length (ES: 0.06; 95%CI: -0.06, 0.18; p=0.35).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Gradually introducing minimalist shoes over a six-week training block is an effective method for improving running economy and performance in trained runners.
Keywords: Athletes; footwear; indirect calorimetry; muscle strength; gait; footfall pattern
Description: Available online 21 April 2017
Rights: © 2017 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.04.013
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Orthopaedics and Trauma publications

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