Barefoot Running Changes Strike Pattern in Long Distance Runners Interview with:
Dr. Marcos Muñoz Jimenez
University of Jaén What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Barefoot running has become very popular in recent years and remains a hotly debated topic among runners. The debate about the pros and cons of barefoot running is current.

Many coaches consider barefoot training to have an effect on muscle strength and to be important for performance and for preventing injuries. The main objective of this study is to determine what changes in foot strike, inversion-eversion and foot rotation are produced after a 12-week programme of barefoot running with progressive volume at the end of the athletes daily training session.

Our data support that a 12-week programme of barefoot running training, applied by progressively increasing the volume of barefoot running, causes significant changes to foot strike patterns with a tendency towards midfoot strike, regardless of running speed. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Transitioning from shod to unshod or minimalist shoes, is described by a few studies and footwear manufacturers as a way to prevent injuries, also only few researchers have documented the period of change for a group of inexperienced barefoot or minimalist runners and its effects on foot strike patterns, inversion-eversion or foot rotation variables. This protocol progressively performed, caused significant change in the way the foot contact with the floor with a tendency to midfoot strike regardless of running speed. Other significant changes were tested in the inversion towards a centered strike, and significant changes in foot rotation at low speed being more external. To our knowledge, this study is the first to analyse changes in FSP using barefoot running as planned training, because most of the studies have focused on cross-sectional analyses. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future studies could monitor athletes to check if the changes obtained are consolidated or lost over time. Furthermore, relevant data about foot strike paterns, inverson-eversion and foot rotation over a long period of barefoot running could be recorded. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This kind of training could help runners looking for a centered strike. Relying on recent literature, in order to reduce impact peaks and injury risk. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Pedro A. Latorre-Román, Felipe García-Pinillos, Víctor M. Soto-Hermoso, Marcos Muñoz-Jiménez. Effects of 12 weeks of barefoot running on foot strike patterns, inversion–eversion and foot rotation in long-distance runners. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2016; DOI:10.1016/j.jshs.2016.01.004

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD