Good News for Hip Running Injuries

There’s nothing hip about a hip injury from running (bad joke), but what causes hip running injuries anyway? The most common causes of hip injury in runners is excessive hip adduction and hip internal rotation, which also causes knee pain and IT band syndrome, too.

How Going Barefoot Helps Hip Running Injuries
What’s good about running without shoes is that it is better for hip health and function.

Good News for Hip Running Injuries

In the past, hip strength was the primary cause of hip injures in runners. Yet, although a correlation between hip weakness and running-related hip injury exists, soft cushioned running shoes lead to faulty hip mechanics, but running barefoot can correct this.

  • A study by McCarthy et al. found that habitual shod heel strikers who switched to running barefoot, landed with a forefoot strike and showed a significant reduction in hip adduction and hip internal rotation at initial contact.
  • During the stance phase of running, hip adduction and hip internal rotation remained significantly lower barefoot when compared to shod.
  • Kerrigan et al. also found that barefoot runners had a 54% decrease in hip internal rotation torque.

These findings are key to the reasoning that will spark an understanding that barefoot running is more ergonomic than shod running. This brings with it new paradigms who’s determining factors are no longer exclusively to a runner being ‘structurally deficient’ and need to wear running shoes with advanced shoe technology.

Running shoes remove humans from their contextual environment, causing them to run in a way that is functionally obsolete.

Afraid to run barefoot? All you need are running shoes that simulate running barefoot. Here are my reviews on the shoes that best feel barefoot!

More From Run Forefoot:

Winter Running Shoe – Warm, barefoot shoes are hard to find, but not with these!

Stretching – Surprising things you should know about pre-run stretching.

Get faster – Tips on building more running endurance.

Proprioception – You want to make sure you are getting lots of this when you are running.


Kerrigan et al. The effect of running shoes on lower extremity joint works. PMR. 2009; 1(12):1058-64.

McCarthy et al. Barefoot running and hip kinematics: good news for Knee? Med Sci Sport Exerc, 201. DOI:10.1249.

Bretta Riches

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!

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