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      New Thinking on a Long-Running Debate: Does a Single Best Running Style (and Shoe) Exist?

      Is there a best way to run? Is one running shoe style superior to others? Or is barefoot running best?

      These are much-circulated questions in the running community, and the answers are still hazy, as described in a report on recent research published Tuesday by The New York Times.

      Gina Kolata, medical reporter for The Times and author of 5 books, recently talked to a pair of biomechanics researchers, Iain Hunter of Brigham Young University and Rodger Kram of the University of Colorado. The article has all the details; here’s a brief summary of her learnings:

      • Elite distance runners exhibit all sorts of running styles. This, Dr. Hunter says, reinforces studies that have shown “when people try to change their natural running style, they tend to use more energy to cover the same distance.”

      • A study by Dr. Kram found that runners who wore very lightweight shoes were more efficient than those who ran barefoot.

      Bottom line, reports Kolata: There is no best way to run for longer distances. And though there is a wide perception that lighter shoes are better and that it’s best to have no shoes at all, Dr. Kram states “without cushioning it is not better.”

      So the debate continues. What footwear and what running style are working for you right now?


      Above: the men's Merrell Trail Glove. Women's equivalent: the Merrell Pace Glove.

      Posted on at 3:30 PM

      Tagged: barefoot running and running shoes

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      Thanks for centralizing this info. all in one place! I've been wearing Nike Pegasus running shoes for years but am now looking for a shoe that works better for jogging on trails. The Pace Glove looks like an awesome option. Thanks again!

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