So, it turns out running barefoot has no scientifically proven benefits. Not only that, barefoot running may actually cause you harm.
Vibram has been hit with a $3.75m lawsuit regarding the claims that their barefoot shoe “reduce[s] foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles.”
However, the American College of Sports Medicine recently released a study that “showed that increases in bone marrow edema [the precursor to a stress fracture] are more common in subjects who were transitioning to the [Vibram FiveFingers]”
The study is specifically about running (aka my relevant sport and why I’m interested) rather than lifting or Crossfit.
My opinion – I bought a pair of Vibrams … because everyone else was doing it. (Weak, I know.) I tried one or two short runs in them, but it always felt uncomfortable due to the high impact. I was afraid I was going to get injured. So, I switched back to my normal shoes – because if it isn’t broke, why fix it? Running in normal shoes felt like being excluded from a cool club – but I guess it was worth it.
I was always worried that my toes would get individually sweaty in toe-socket shoes, but now I won’t bother to switch over.