Harvard Study Proves that Barefoot Running Style Reduces Injury Rates and Increases Performance
A recent Harvard study led by Professor Daniel Lieberman, Foot Strike and Injury Rates in Endurance Runners: a retrospective study is set to revolutionise the whole footwear industry after finding that that runners who rear foot strike have approximately twice the rate of injury than those who forefoot strike. VIVOBAREFOOT, the authentic barefoot brand designs footwear that promotes forefoot strike rather than rear foot strike and have been the leaders in communicating this same message since 2003.
The research which has been published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, hypothesizes that forefoot strikers may have lower injury rates because they do not generate impact peaks. In the 2010 Nature study by Lieberman et al., Foot Strike Patterns and Collision Forces in Habitually Barefoot Runners Versus Shod Runners, it was found that barefoot running is flagged by a forefoot strike, while shod running lends itself to a rear foot strike.
Lieberman’s research, arguably the most groundbreaking study in the last 30 years, suggests that the incidence of high
injury rate among runners (more than 80% of runners in his study incurred at least one repetitive stress injury per year) could be reduced if their running form minimizes the rate and magnitude of impact loading - in other words, if runners adopt a skillful forefoot strike, characteristic of skilled barefoot runners. With regards to the debate over the importance of shoes versus form, Lieberman states that “running style is probably a more important determinant of injury than footwear (with the caveat that footwear probably influences one’s running style)”.
VIVOBAREFOOT and leading biomechanics expert Lee Saxby have long been believers of the benefits of barefoot movement and of the detrimental impact that modern day footwear has had on dumbing down the senses of today’s society, whether standing, walking or running. While many hypotheses have circled as the barefoot movement has gained strength, Lieberman’s latest research finally provides us with proof that barefoot is best.
In 2011, VIVOBAREFOOT and Lee Saxby launched the VIVOBAREFOOT Training Clinic to educate the world about skillful, injury-free movement, following the success of Saxby’s eBook, Proprioception: Making Sense of Barefoot Running. In May 2011 the VIVOBAREFOOT Training Clinic launched the VIVOBAREFOOT Coaching Program, a five-day course with an intense syllabus covering the science and coaching of the physical and mental components of running. Extensive practical interactions diagnosing and correcting running form complete the course, and only those that pass the rigorous test at the end are granted a certificate. The VIVOBAREFOOT Coaching Program is the only coaching program recommended by Daniel Lieberman.
VIVOBAREFOOT strongly believes in creating footwear that mimics natural movement so your gait is less likely to be influenced by reduced proprioception (sensory feedback). VIVOBAREFOOT produces a suite of barefoot products across performance, lifestyle and kids categories, all featuring its patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole for maximum proprioception with protection.
Visit trainingclinic.vivobarefoot.com to find resources on barefoot science, read Saxby’s eBook, watch training videos
to learn tips and drills for proper running form, find a local VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coach, or register for an upcoming VIVOBAREFOOT Coaching Program.
VIVOBAREFOOT launched the first barefoot shoe in 2003 with a patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant
sole offering maximum proprioception with protection. VIVOBAREFOOT features a collection of multi-terrain barefoot performance shoes and the largest minimalist lifestyle shoe range on the market. vivobarefoot.com