BYU researchers advise care when switching to minimalist sneakers

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  • runnermo Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 14, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    Great story and comments supporting gentle entry into this type of footwear. A caution that hasn't been addressed is for grossly overweight people who put on these shoes and expect miracles.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    April 2, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    I've tried Five Fingers for some time, and decided it was quite what I needed. I have taken regular shoes to 2,000 miles on a regular basis, and one pair made it as far as 5,500 with no injuries. Five Fingers were fine at slow speeds(7:00 mile), although they would fall apart after about 1000 miles. Adding speed work (4:50-5:50 pace range) reduced the Five Fingers longevity to 700 miles, and gave me a heel irritation injury, which is remarkable, given my history of resistance. I have had much better results with Crocs. $20 a pair at Amazon, 7oz weight, feel like you are running barefoot on grass, 2,000 mile longevity with speed work, zero injuries over the last 4 years, and they do stay on even when sprinting. I've done a 200 in them as fast as 28.4 with no incident. Perfect in the marathon - no blisters (unlike racing flats), and no worries about shoe lace problems.

  • Don Bugg Prince Frederick, MD
    April 2, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Dennis, exactly what would you propose as a name for people from BYU who are performing research? Why do you object to the term "researchers" in this context? It isn't even slightly misleading; it means exactly what it says.

    KWheel, you're mischaracterizing what the article says. It's the difference between men and women that wasn't statistically significant in this study, not the trend towards having more edema.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    April 2, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    I've been running for 40 years. I considered going barefoot and tried it for short distances. However, I've never had problems with my feet, and I decided to continue with what works for me.

    Barefoot runners and shoe people have long recommended that runners change to minimalist shoes over several months, and it's nice to know that scientists are reaching the same conclusion. Thanks for the article!

  • KWheel Bountiful, UT
    April 2, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    So why bother reporting on something that isn't statistically significant? Let's mislead readers for a whole article and then tell them at the end that the experiment didn't support the hypothesis.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 2, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    I ran five minutes the first day, took a day off, and the next time ran six minutes. Running three times a week and adding a minute each run, it took a couple of seasons to build up to real distance. Last year I ran a marathon in Five Fingers.

    Patience has its rewards. My form is better, and my Achilles tendonitis and IT band problems are gone. It's been very worthwhile.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    April 2, 2013 5:47 a.m.

    "BYU researchers". Once again an article is trying to spin a dozen students running around in Five Fingers bought by a professor and it's call BYU researchers. Should we take the same scientific tact with medicine, the environment and space exploration?

  • BH Tremonton, UT
    April 1, 2013 10:08 p.m.

    So, what the BYU research is saying, is follow the manufacturer's instructions? Gee, what a novel approach. After all, Five Fingers makes it very clear to start out with shorter distances for a few weeks, working up to longer distances.

    Everyone I have talked to, who has followed the Five Fingers advice, has made the transition with ease, and most have a strong preference for the minimalist footwear.