The NY Times recently published an article that looks at what they assume is a new trend in running sneakers with the trend in minimalist footwear swinging significantly to the other side. “Athletes who spent the past few years embracing or scorning barefoot running can now consider whether increasingly popular ‘maximalist’ shoes — with their chunky, heavily cushioned soles — are the sport’s new wonder product.” The article further stated that while sales for minimalist footwear, such as the ultra-minimal Vibram FiveFinger, reached $400 million USD in 2012, unsubstantiated claims and injuries ran rampant. So are maximalist shoes the solution? Some argue there just isn’t enough data out there to support the claims, some suggest they’re beneficial if worn in moderation, or on hard surfaces.
While this new adaption may work for the injury-prone or very long distance runners, Regressing.com assures us this may not be true for the average casual runner. The digital imprint cites Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman stating “excess cushioning could lead some runners to make harder impact than normal, seeking the feedback of proprioception.”
The fact of the matter is, just as Regressing concludes, there isn’t enough research out there to state one style is better or healthier than the other. For our runners reading this, please tell us about you experiences with minimalist or maximalist sneakers below. Head over to the NY Times for their take while Regressing’s piece can be seen here.