Six-week transition to minimalist shoes improves running economy and time-trial performance

Joel T. Fuller, Dominic Thewlis, Margarita D. Tsiros, Nicholas A. T. Brown, Jonathan D. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: 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.
Design: Randomised parallel intervention trial. Methods: 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 (TDR-F) pressure sensors.
Results: 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 TDR-F (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).
Conclusions: Gradually introducing minimalist shoes over a six-week training block is an effective method for improving running economy and performance in trained runners.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1117-1122
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Volume20
Issue number12
Early online date2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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Shoes
Confidence Intervals
Ankle
Education
Pressure

Keywords

  • athletes
  • footwear
  • indirect calorimetry
  • muscle strength
  • gait
  • footfall pattern
  • Muscle strength
  • Gait
  • Indirect calorimetry
  • Footwear
  • Athletes
  • Footfall pattern

Cite this

Fuller, Joel T. ; Thewlis, Dominic ; Tsiros, Margarita D. ; Brown, Nicholas A. T. ; Buckley, Jonathan D. / Six-week transition to minimalist shoes improves running economy and time-trial performance. In: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2017 ; Vol. 20, No. 12. pp. 1117-1122.
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title = "Six-week transition to minimalist shoes improves running economy and time-trial performance",
abstract = "Objectives: 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.Design: Randomised parallel intervention trial. Methods: 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 (TDR-F) pressure sensors.Results: 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 TDR-F (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). Conclusions: Gradually introducing minimalist shoes over a six-week training block is an effective method for improving running economy and performance in trained runners.",
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Six-week transition to minimalist shoes improves running economy and time-trial performance. / Fuller, Joel T.; Thewlis, Dominic; Tsiros, Margarita D.; Brown, Nicholas A. T.; Buckley, Jonathan D.

In: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Vol. 20, No. 12, 12.2017, p. 1117-1122.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Six-week transition to minimalist shoes improves running economy and time-trial performance

AU - Fuller, Joel T.

AU - Thewlis, Dominic

AU - Tsiros, Margarita D.

AU - Brown, Nicholas A. T.

AU - Buckley, Jonathan D.

PY - 2017/12

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N2 - Objectives: 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.Design: Randomised parallel intervention trial. Methods: 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 (TDR-F) pressure sensors.Results: 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 TDR-F (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). Conclusions: Gradually introducing minimalist shoes over a six-week training block is an effective method for improving running economy and performance in trained runners.

AB - Objectives: 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.Design: Randomised parallel intervention trial. Methods: 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 (TDR-F) pressure sensors.Results: 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 TDR-F (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). Conclusions: Gradually introducing minimalist shoes over a six-week training block is an effective method for improving running economy and performance in trained runners.

KW - athletes

KW - footwear

KW - indirect calorimetry

KW - muscle strength

KW - gait

KW - footfall pattern

KW - Muscle strength

KW - Gait

KW - Indirect calorimetry

KW - Footwear

KW - Athletes

KW - Footfall pattern

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T2 - Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

JF - Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

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