May 2007, I finally completed my thesis on a barefoot running study and
graduated. It took me 2 years just for the research....
Here is the abstract of my thesis
Research and marketing for athletic shoes has focused on cushioning the heel and stabilizing the foot with the intention of achieving injury-free running. Despite countless improvements and innovation of ergonomically correct footwear by major athletic corporations, sports medicine practitioners have been encountering many running related injuries. Therefore, the current study was examined to describe the effects of barefoot running combined with a converted landing technique, which is absorbing ground reaction force (GRF) through forefoot landing. In this study, 10 experienced runners aged between 23 and 45 completed 7 weeks of barefoot running training. GRF, VO2, and step length were measured before and after the experimental period. Paired Sampled tests (α=0.05) were utilized to analyze and compare the difference between the pre-test and the post-test to determine if those values change with increased barefoot running activity. The current study delineated that 7 weeks of barefoot running combined with a forefoot landing technique significantly reduced the peak GRF, which could possibly contribute to the knowledge of what causes running-related injuries. However, the training made the participants significantly more inefficient by increasing the energy expenditure determined by VO2. Step length was unchanged after the experimental period.