Sacramento Running News

Running news and gossip from in and around Sacramento
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Is This the End of Minimalist Running Shoes?

November 03, 2014 By: John Blue Category: General Running News

shoesIt seems we’ve gone nearly full circle in terms of running shoes, with this article in the Sacramento Bee about the rise of the “Maximalist Running Shoe.

The hot trend now is the opposite of minimalism – shoes pumped up with additional cushioning that is meant to provide stability and absorb shock. On the frontier of that movement is a brand called Hoka One One, a line of “maximalist” road and trail shoes with more than twice the midsole material of a standard model.

It’s not really a return to the gigantic, heavy running shoes of a decade ago. The Hoka One One shoes at the basis of the article are actually quite light. It could be seen as a the convergence of technology and a market need.

I think the key point here is to figure out what kind of shoe works for you and your feet, and use those.

(more…)

Barefoot/Minimalist Running May be Hurting Your Feet, But Here is a Review of Some Minimalist Shoes

April 03, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

barefootBecause everyone still seems to be interested in barefoot running, I bring you another fine study that asks the interesting question of :

“Does the barefoot style reduce a runner’s risk of pain and injury (as enthusiasts believe)? Or does barefoot running simply contribute to the development of a different set of injuries in some runners?”

This study’s results indicate: probably.

Even with an extremely conservative build up of mileage in minimalist shoes (Vibram Five Fingers), most of the runners studied were showing signs of foot injury after a ten-week trial. (more…)

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Minimalist Shoes ≠ Barefoot Running

January 23, 2013 By: John Blue Category: Science

barefootThere has been a lot of hype about barefoot running and how shoes change the body’s natural mechanics.

Much of this makes sense, but the jury is out as to the significance of these mechanical changes with regard to performance and injury.

If running barefoot is a bit much for you, perhaps a “minimalist shoe” might help you achieve the mechanical benefits with fewer of the risks. Perhaps.

Then again, perhaps not.

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine investigated this question, comparing the mechanics of highly trained runners in minimalist shoes, barefoot, and traditional shoes. The findings are a bit surprising. (more…)

The Vibram Lawsuit

April 04, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News

There has been a flurry of news articles over the past couple days about the recent lawsuit against Vibram, maker of the Vibram FiveFingers.

Naturally, the somewhat lurid piece in the Daily Mail is my favorite because it describes the shoes as “bizarre” and “odd looking,” and includes pictures of celebrity FiveFinger wearers.

The lawsuit is being brought by a Valerie Bezdek, who’s complaint alleges the “Defendants’ false and misleading advertising campaign has allowed them to reap millions of dollars of profit at the expense of the consumers they have misled.”

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Lightweight Shoes vs. Barefoot?

March 01, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

Proponents of barefoot running often speak of the improved efficiency of barefoot versus shod running, but for some reason we still don’t see many barefoot runners at a competitive level.

Why is this?

A recent study published online in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise worked to minimize the possible confounding factors that have plagued prior research.

To tease out the differences that could be attributed only to the shoes or lack of shoes, the researchers worked with experienced barefoot runners and all the runners in the study were midfoot strikers–with or without shoes.

Then, the researchers added weight to the feet of both the shod and barefoot runners and found, not surprisingly, that people use more oxygen as the weight of the foot or shoe increased.

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Vibram Five Fingers Achieve Full Pop-Culture Penetration

January 17, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News

I was standing on my driveway yesterday morning, watching a neighbor bundled up against the cold as she minced down the street in her new Vibram Five Fingers and remembered a friend telling me about the mountain of them available at the REI Used Gear Sale.

“They all have a little tag on them where you can see why they were returned,” he said. “Almost all of them said “Uncomfortable.””

You either love them or mock them, but they are everywhere. Last time I was at REI, I noticed that there is now even a “dress shoe” available in the Five Finger style.

(more…)

You May Love Your “Five Fingers,” the Army Not So Much

July 04, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News

The Army doesn't want to see your toes.

The minimalist and barefoot running blogs are atwitter with righteous indignation over the US Army’s recently announced ban on “toe shoes.”

All Army Activities message 239/2011 states:

THERE ARE A VARIETY OF MINIMALIST RUNNING SHOES AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AND WEAR. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, ONLY THOSE SHOES THAT ACCOMMODATE ALL FIVE TOES IN ONE COMPARTMENT ARE AUTHORIZED FOR WEAR. THOSE SHOES THAT FEATURE FIVE SEPARATE, INDIVIDUAL COMPARTMENTS FOR THE TOES, DETRACT FROM A PROFESSIONAL MILITARY IMAGE AND ARE PROHIBITED FOR WEAR WITH THE IPFU OR WHEN CONDUCTING PHYSICAL TRAINING IN MILITARY FORMATION.

There are limits to freedom, apparently.

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