Scientific studies show that it is more efficient to run with shoes that are thinner, lighter, and more flexible, than traditional running shoes. These "minimalist shoes" provide the body with more feedback from the ground. This feedback is critical, and with it you will be much more efficient, which is what running pain free is all about.
Most people wear thick, cushioned running shoes, and as a result, have weaker feet. Minimalist shoes are more flexible and will work the muscles of the feet and allow them to strengthen. As the foot strengthens, performance will improve.
When a person runs barefoot, they tend to not land on their heels. We encourage people to try it by running barefoot on a firm surface for just a few steps. You will see that it is very hard to land on your heels, because of the pain caused and the great amount of shock to the skeleton. It is much more natural to land on the midfoot, or ball of the foot. Most people do not run in the same manner when they wear their traditional, cushioned shoes. They tend to land on their heel, or heel strike. One of the many benefits of running in minimalist footwear is the reduction or elimination of the heel strike.
Runners wearing minimalist footwear tend to land on their midfoot, just like they would if they were barefoot. This is the true essence of minimalist running - less heel striking means less shock to the body and less repetitive stress injuries, like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain, etc.
Revolution Natural Running & Walking Center is the only running store in the Midwest where you can learn about the science. Kyle Roberts, Certified Pedorthist (C Ped) and founder of Revolution, very closely follows the scientific studies behind footwear, which point toward running more naturally. At our store we have many footwear studies available as free handouts for those that want to learn more. We have seen that the more knowledge a runner has, and the more informed they become, the more inclined they are to experiment with wearing a shoe with less material and technology in it. And once they try it they do not want to put the heavy, cumbersome, and unstable, traditional shoes back on their feet.
That's where we come in. We help guide you through the process of learning about this new type of footwear, and how to transition into wearing it. This transition will require patience and guidance. There will be changes in the way your muscles are used, and these changes may be profound. There is usually some soreness involved during the transition period, but it will subside when your muscles adapt to the more natural movement patterns, when they get stronger.
At Revolution, we use state of the art video gait analysis to show you how your foot contacts the ground. When our customers see slow motion video of how their foot lands in their traditional, cushioned shoe, and compare that to how their foot lands when they run with no shoe on their feet at all, they very quickly understand that running in these minimal shoes will help them to run in a similar manner as they do when they run barefoot.
One thing that minimal shoes do not do is automatically give a person perfect form. This takes time to learn, to hone. It is crucial that every runner take time to work on perfecting their running form, just like a good tennis player works on perfecting their forehand to become a better at tennis, or a swimmer works on their swimming stroke to become more efficient. We teach natural running form that will help you perform more efficiently. Efficient, pain free running demands excellent form or technique. Only in minimal footwear can a runner get the feedback their feet require in order to have this type of form.