Barefoot Running – are Vibram Five Fingers the Answer?

Barefoot is Better

The push for barefoot running is gaining more and more emphasis for todays athletes.  And there appears little that can be argued against the concept – afterall running shoes are a recent concept that has been monopolised by some of the biggest brand names in the world.

A new book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Barefoot Running” by Dr Craig Richards rates Vibram Five Fingers as 10/10 when it comes to minimalist footwear.

5 Fingers – Gloves for Your Feet

A recent study at the University of Newcastle in Australia concluded there is no scientific evidence to support claims that running shoes with elevated heel crash pads and elaborate anti-pronation systems prevent injuries in runners. The findings have been published in the March 2009 edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Since the 1980s, distance running shoes with thick, heavily cushioned heels and features to control how much the heel rolls in, have been consistently recommended to runners who want to avoid injury,” Dr. Craig Richards, one of the researchers, said in a press release announcing the results of the study. “We did not identify a single study that has attempted to measure the effect of this shoe type on either injury rates or performance. This means there is no scientific evidence that [those shoes] provide any benefit to distance runners.”

Caleb Wegner writing in “Run For your Life Magazine”  in 2006 and Michael Warburton, a Queensland Physiotherapist, wrote in Sportscience 2001 about the benefits of barefoot running. Now there is a growing body of eveidence to support this concept.

Testimonials from practitioners across Australia reveal widespread anecdotal evidence of the benefits of protected barefoot activities using 5 Fingers – “Running in FiveFingers improves agility, strength and equilibrium, plus it delivers sensory feedback that allows runners to make immediate corrections in their form. This greatly improves running efficiency.” Dr. Ivo Waerlop (chiropractor & expert in gait biomechanics in sports)

5 Fingers are versatile and are effective for running & exercise

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About the author

Bradley Wilson is the Managing Director of the AOK Health Group, established in 1994. The AOK Group is comprised of 3 companies which specialise in the design, manufacture and distribution of health and rehabilitation products, education and services worldwide. Bradley has not just fostered good products but also good business, winning the awards including 2008 Exporter of the Year, 2003 Fastest Growing Hunter Wholesaler and in 2004 Trainer of the Year in Logistics. In 2004, 2006 & 2008 Bradley was elected as a Director of the Hunter Business Chamber by the 1000 member companies of that organisation. He is Senior Vice President, Chair of the Executive, Audit, Business Development and Education Committees. In 2005 fellow board members elected him as a Councillor of NSW Business Chamber (previously Australian Business Ltd) - one of Australia’s largest business lobby groups. Bradley was a Councillor for 3 years. Respected enough to work with other prominent industry professionals throughout the world, he has developed a business model that allows his customers the advantage of the world’s best product and technological information unchallenged by their competitors.

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