August 30, 2016
Compared with soldiers in the U.S. Army who wore stability, cushioning or motional-control shoes, soldiers who wore minimalist running shoes were younger and had higher physical performance scores. However, investigators found no significant differences between the groups regarding risk for injury after controlling for other variables.
Researchers evaluated 1,332 male soldiers in the U.S. Army brigade. Investigators collected data on participants’ personal characteristics and collected their Army Physical Fitness Test scores. At the brigade, a fitness performance test was administered and investigators identified type of footwear worn via visual inspection. The shoe types were classified as either stability, cushioning and motion-control (known as traditional shoes) or minimalist running shoes (MRS). The Defense Medical Surveillance System was used to determine injuries sustained from the previous 12 months. Investigators determined mean differences between the groups regarding personal characteristics, training and fitness performance metrics by the shoe type.