Running in lighter shoes feels good, and it also helps your performance as compared with heavier running shoes. I’ve written about this topic before: light vs heavy running shoes on running performance, but I just had to show you this new study which reinforces the fact that you should really choose the most lightest running shoe that you can find for running, especially if you are running a road race and wish to perform really well.
Why Choose the Most Lightest Running Shoe
A study by Hoogkamer et al. 2016, investigated the effects of adding mass, 100g and 300g, to the running shoe, the Nike Zoom Streak 5, on 3,000m time trial performance in male runners who were capable of running a 5km in under 20 minutes. To increase the weight of the shoe, the researchers added 100g of lead beads to the tongue. For the 300g shoe, the researchers added 100g to the tongue and 200g of lead beads in the side-pockets of the shoe. After training and running a 3,000m time trial with maximal effort, VO2-max was measured.
Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that adding mass to the running shoe significantly increased running time whereby the 300g running shoe runners had the slowest run time. The researchers confirmed that the runners with added shoe mass had to work harder because they had the greatest increase in metabolic rate. From a long distance running perspective, the researchers mentioned that you can expect your performance to degrade when you run long distances in heavier running shoes as compared with lighter running shoes.
My interpretations of these findings is that you could train with weights in your shoes or just wear heavier shoes, but wear feather-light running shoes on race day! This will definitely help your performance. I’ve also read that training with a weighted vest is another excellent way to improve your running performance.
More From Run Forefoot
Hoogkamer et al. Altered running economy directly translates to altered distance-running performance. Med Sci Sport Exer, 2016; DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001012
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.