The following study proposes to investigate the injury risk associated with the use of a new
category of running footwear: the minimalist shoe. A group of experienced adult male and
female runners with neutral foot types will take part in this study. All participants will be
randomized to receive one of three different shoes: a full minimalist shoe (Vibram
5-Fingers), a partial minimalist shoe (Nike Free 3.0) and a conventional neutral supportive
running shoe (Nike Pegasus), while training for a 10k event over a 14-week period. Outcomes
to be investigated are pain, footwear perception, and number of injury events.
The hypothesizes is that participants using the minimalist footwear during their running
program will experience a reduction in running related pain. A greater degree of footwear
minimalism will result in a greater reduction in pain (compared to the partial minimalist
shoe, Nike Free).