Cushioned Running Shoes Means More Injuries for You

Lots of injuries for you if you choose to learn forefoot running in a cushioned running shoe as these shoes mentally weaken your defense against injurious footfalls during running.

Cushioned Running Shoes Means More Injuries for You

Cushioned Running Shoes Means Injuries for You

It’s hard to monitor your foot strike when you can’t feel the ground. To improve the lines of control for proper footfalls during running, certain areas of the brain carefully analyze perceptual features of the plantar surface. The best way to gain a clear sense of the ground and to optimize neuromuscular control is by running barefoot or in barefoot-like footwear. Conversely, thick cushioned outsoles interferes with perceptual awareness, resulting in a forceful footfall.

Cushioned Heeled Running Shoes May Interfere with Self-Monitoring of Footfall
Thick cushioned footwear may cause a runner to be less mindful of their footfall during forefoot running.

Because thick cushioning makes it hard for the brain to analyze footfall behavior, forefoot running amateurs who wear thick cushioned running shoes struggle to use their intuition in attempt to land properly and safely on the forefoot.

  • Cushioned running shoes reduce proprioception, causing the brain to be less reliable and less prominently activated when an amateur forefoot runner attempts to land correctly on their forefoot.

As a result, the runner takes on too much body impact and loading which corresponds to a higher risk of injury.

Flat Footwear or Barefoot Influences the Correct Moves

Barefoot or minimalist running are truly unprecedented for allowing you to land forefooted safely. This is because the proprioceptors in the feet receive massive input from the ground which trigger automatic behaviors that improve impact-reducing mechanical strategies.

Pure minimalist running shoes and running barefoot enables a runner to deliberately sense the ground to optimize the best footfall solution. Over-time, this footfall pattern becomes learned, allowing the runner to land appropriately without conscious thought.

Wearing less is really the only solution to the central challenge in running: landing properly, with less impact. Thin, flat running shoes give rise to conscious sensations that allows for fast, automatic safe footfalls to materialize all of a sudden. Cushioned running shoes on the other hand, depresses excitable matter on the foot thereby preventing the output of unconscious processing into awareness.

More From Run Forefoot:

Best Trail Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers

What Are The Common Running Injuries

Link Between Heel Strike Running and Lower Back Pain

How to Start Barefoot Running

Minimalist Running is good, BUT..

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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