What to Read Next

Running shoes beat bare feet in one important way

Frances McInnis
Shine On
March 20, 2012

The barefoot running movement has been gaining steam for several years now. But is the barefoot running craze just that — a craze? Or are traditional, cushioned running shoes on their way to extinction?

A new study suggests that traditional running shoes help you conserve energy, not lose energy, like what barefoot runner advocates have argued, according to the Globe and Mail. Researchers at the University of Colorado have discovered that running shoes help wearers to run more efficiently, using three to four percent less energy compared to runners wearing no shoes.

The findings, soon to be published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, are somewhat surprising, given that traditional running shoes add weight to your feet. Previous studies have found every 100 grams in weight that you add to your feet will make you burn roughly 1 per cent more energy when you run.

Related: The facts on 'barefoot' running shoes

However, the researchers speculate that the design of running shoes allows the runner to use less energy despite the extra weight added to their feet. Physiologist Rodger Kram, who led the study, told the Globe and Mail that running barefoot requires runners to use their leg muscles to cushion their body.

It should be noted though that the main draw of barefoot running has to do with injury prevention rather than efficiency. Running without shoes has been touted as a way to avoid the sprains, shin splints and other injuries that plague many runners. Its proponents blame these problems on the modern sneaker, which was invented in the 1970s.

In 2010, Harvard University's Daniel Lieberman, published a paper that said running shoes encourage runners to strike first with their heels, and that the repeated impact could lead to injuries.

Toddler tantrum email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track for advice on how to handle different situations that may arise with your little one.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most popular plan option, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Buying Medicare Supplement Plan F? Read This First

Learn why Medicare Supplement Plan F might not be your best plan option.

Are Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This?

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

File your taxes for $0

TurboTax announces Absolute Zero is back. $0 Fed. $0 State. $0 to File. Get your maximum refund, guaranteed. Federal Free Edition.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Time is Running Out

Just 7 days remain to enter for a shot at $5,000 A Week “Forever.”

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

$200 Tactical Flashlight Surplus Dumped

Highly anticipated LumiTact G700 Tactical Flashlight Overrun - Now available to civilian population