How long does it take to transition to minimalist running? 8 minutes, according to a recent study by Delattre et al., who investigated the time needed for a runner to adopt a forefoot strike in minimalist shoes. Note that the minimalist shoes used in the study were zero-drop.
How Long Does It Take To Transition To Minimalist Running?
In addition, the researchers found that at the very beginning of the running session, the foot-to-ground angle at touchdown evolved significantly in minimalist shoes.
The runners reached a steady foot strike pattern after 8 minutes of running in minimalist shoes. The researchers concluded that runners may need 8 minutes to fully adapt their foot strike pattern to a new minimalist shoe condition.
However, other work found that less time (5 minutes) was needed for runners to adopt to a new minimalist running shoe condition. And of course, barefoot running required the least amount of time for forefoot strike adoption.
Nevertheless, the findings offer some guidance on a definitive time-frame for forefoot strike adaptation in minimalist shoes as well as information on the specific type of minimalist shoes, zero drop, that are most effective at triggering a prompt change in foot strike pattern.
Now runners can stop haphazardly guessing what shoe is best for forefoot running: zero-dropped or just go barefoot.
Be sure to check out my reviews on the most popular minimalist running shoes for forefoot strikers.
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Delattre et al. Effect of time during a running session with minimal footwear. Comp Methods Biomech Biomed Eng, 2013; 16(S1):104-105.
Hardin et al. Kinematic adaptations during running:effects of footwear, surface, and duration. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2004; 36(5):838-44.
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.