What happened to the barefoot running fad?

Barefoot running was a large trend around 10 years ago which endured for a few years and attracted a great deal of curiosity, particularly in social media. Towards the end of 2008 and early 2009 there had been growing statements that running footwear were in fact unhealthy for the runners and was responsible for the majority of the overuse injuries that athletes have been getting. This was despite the astounding amount of research and technologies which went into improving running footwear to prevent those injuries. These beliefs ended in a craze for athletes to experiment with running without using running shoes and going barefoot or running in what become referred to as minimalist athletic shoes. Most of these running shoes had little technology or functions in them and are merely a protective covering up of the feet.

The without athletic shoes running fad was pushed by a big presence in social media. There have been loads of web sites, publications, courses, magazines and message boards focused on and advocating barefoot running. A great deal of outstanding statements were made for barefoot running in what it would do for the athletes. It had been believed that as much as a quarter of runners could have played around with in some way with barefoot running. However, by late 2013 and early on in 2014 involvement in barefoot running had dwindled away and athletes weren’t any longer serious about it. This was even with all of the remarkable promises which got made about the features about barefoot running as well as the comments coming from a few that it was preparing to put the athletic shoes organisations out of business. That never happened.

The fad declined as the assumed advantages rarely accumulated for the majority of runners who used it. There had been a large amount of claims made how the science supported without running shoes running, when in actuality there wasn’t any research which showed that it had been greater and subsequent research has revealed that the overuse injury rate in barefoot or minimalist running is just not lower than people who run in the padded running shoes. There was clearly plenty of research carried out on barefoot and also minimalist running, however that research failed to reveal that it turned out any superior, it really indicated that that it was different. The reality that there was so much research which was misinterpreted by individuals who touted barefoot running as demonstrating it was better, when that is not what it really showed.

At the end of the barefoot novelty, the Hoka One One athletic shoes company introduced some maximally shock absorbing running footwear which were made fun of and despised by people advocating barefoot running. Despite that, runners preferred these shoes and the Hoka’s are now a strong company in the athletic shoes market and since 2014 the movement is still for the much more maximally padded running shoes from all the running shoe manufacturers.

There does exist still a small group of serious barefoot runners that was ever present. At the moment the minimalist running shoes have made up approximately 0.3-0.5% of the running footwear marketplace for the recent years. The maximalist athletic shoes still control the market for the past 6-7 years and there is no hint in any decline in the market share or a come back of any curiosity about barefoot or minimalist athletic shoes.