We often associate cushioned standard running shoes with safer running, however accumulating research shows there seems to be too many negative, than positive, aspects of certain forms of running shoes. For instance, most cushioned running shoes are inflexible and have a tight, restrictive fit on the foot-ankle complex. In this capacity, rotational and torsional forces acting on the knee-joint were found to be more intensive and damaging as compared with forefoot running in minimalist running shoes (i.e. shoes that are light, flat and flexible and are overall, fairly evenly matched with being barefoot). Bottom line, there really is no real functional reason to wear stiff footwear because their narrow frame not only counters the natural geometry of the human foot, but their stiffness silences the greater engagement of the foot’s muscles and soft tissue groups which may result in poor functional strength. Read more here about the relation between stiff running shoes and severe runner’s knee.
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.