Barefoot and Minimalist Running: An Update for the Clinician
Increased attention, popularity and research over the past decade regarding running in barefoot/minimalist footwear, warrant the need for a comprehensive overview and guide for clinicians working with athletes who participate in this sport. Research exploring the anatomical and physiological adaptations that facilitate running in general and barefoot/minimalist footwear running in particular is extensive and continues to grow. Gait, impact, foot strike patterns and injury in various footwear are all frequently studied, both while wearing traditional footwear and while wearing barefoot/minimalist footwear. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current literature, and discuss benefits, cautions, and considerations for clinicians working with runners. Finally, this review provides practical suggestions in helping the clinician guide runners when they transition from traditional footwear to barefoot/minimalist footwear.