Barefoot running was a significant gimmick around ten years back which lasted a few years which attracted plenty of curiosity, particularly in social media. Towards the end of 2008 and early 2009 there had been growing statements that running footwear have been in fact damaging to the athletes and has been the cause of most of the injuries that athletes are getting. It was regardless of the remarkable volume of science and technologies that went into creating athletic shoes to avoid these running injuries. These claims ended in a trend for athletes to test out running not using running footwear and going barefoot or using what become referred to as minimalist running shoes. These kinds of running footwear had little technology or functions inside them and were simply just a protective covering up of the foot.

The barefoot running trend had been driven by a huge existence in social media. There had been lots of internet sites, publications, programs, journals and message boards invested in and driving barefoot running. Lots of phenomenal assertions were made for barefoot running in what it may well do for the athletes. It was claimed that up to 25 % of runners might have experimented in some manner with barefoot running. Nevertheless, by late 2013 and early 2014 curiosity about barefoot running had dwindled away and runners were no longer serious about it. This lack of interest was in spite of all the remarkable promises which got made about the benefits associated with it and the comments coming from a few that it had been intending to put the running footwear providers bankrupt. This certainly did not occur.

The barefoot running trend dropped for the reason that supposed benefits rarely added up for the vast majority of athletes which attempted it. There initially were a lot of claims made how the research backed up barefoot running, when in fact there was no research which revealed that it was greater and following research has shown that the injury incidence in without running shoes or minimalist running is just not lower than those who work out in the cushioning athletic shoes. There was clearly lots of science done on barefoot and also minimalist running, but that research failed to reveal that it turned out any greater, it just showed that it was different. The reality that there was clearly so much science which was misinterpreted by those who pushed barefoot running as showing it had been superior, when that isn’t exactly what it showed.

In the end with the barefoot trend, the Hoka One One athletic shoes corporation released some maximally shock absorbing running shoes that were laughed at and loathed by those touting barefoot running. Despite that, runners liked this footwear and the Hoka’s have become a strong company in the running shoe marketplace and since 2014 the movement has been towards the much more maximally shock absorbing running shoes from all the running shoe manufacturers.

There is however a tiny number of die hard barefoot runners which was ever present. Currently the minimalist athletic shoes make up about 0.3-0.5% of the running footwear marketplace for the previous few years. Those maximalist running footwear continue to control the market for the past 5-6 years and there isn’t any hint of any loss of their market share or a return of any interest in barefoot or minimalist running shoes.

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Craig Payne Author
University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger, dad.