With the new trend towards minimalist footwear, it’s important runners have access to information not only about the benefits of minimalism but more importantly how to incorporate it safely into their running routine.
Saucony has taken this message to heart with their recent Step Into Minimalism events in Boston and NYC. Run SMART was fortunate enough to be apart of this worthy campaign by offering gait analysis and coaching tips on how to safely transition into minimalist shoes.
Runnersworld.com’s Shoes & Gear section provides a nice overview of Saucony’s minimalist line and a quick recap of the NYC event (along with a shout out to Run SMART!).
Transitioning into minimalism safely
- In general, with minimal shoes, runners will typically adopt a gait pattern that decreases the impact forces on the feet, knees, ankles, hips, and lower back. If you don’t conscientiously work on form and strength you could wind up with sore calf muscles, strained Achilles tendons, aching feet or more serious injuries.
- If you’ve been running in traditionally built trainers, changing first to a moderate minimalist shoe that has a 4-8mm heel-toe drop, like the Kinvaras, is a good way to start. And build slowly, don’t all of a sudden start doing all of your runs in your new minimalist shoes.
- Don’t force a forefoot strike! Let yourself land naturally and focus more on increasing turnover and shortening stride and trying to be lighter when you land.