Research Impact: Over the past 10 years, renewed interest in more natural running footwear has seen the development of the minimalist footwear (MFW) sector. Whilst there are numerous purported benefits of running in minimalist shoes, perhaps the only consistent observation in the literature is an improvement in running economy (RE). The main finding of the present study is that changes in step frequency as a result of footwear condition (~4%) are not large enough to have any significant impact on RE, even when the foot striking pattern is controlled for in the analysis. If RE changes are indeed associated with switching to MFW, this is most likely not due to the changes in step frequency that are typical of changing into this footwear.
Warne, J., Moran, K.A. and Warrington, G.D., 2018. Small Step Frequency Changes Due to Footwear Condition Have No Effect on Running Economy. Sports Medicine International Open, 2(02), pp.E41-E45. DOI: 10.1055/a-0620-8039