Researchers have found that despite their bells and whistles, cushioned and performance shoes may not prevent injuries better than minimalist running shoes, according to a new study reported by the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
Investigators evaluated the effectiveness of the different types of footwear on 1,332 male soldiers in the U.S. Army.
The shoes were classified as stability, cushioning and motion-control (known as traditional shoes) or minimalist running shoes.
The results found that the soldiers who wore minimalist running shoes performed some physical activities at a greater rate and were faster than those who used traditional shoes. However, researchers noted that the men who wore MRS were younger than the other test subjects.
Still, when it came to which type of footwear would make conditions more favorable for preventing injury, there was no group that had a significant advantage.
Meanwhile, footwear that delivers high performance continues to be a priority for the armed forces. In June, Rocky Brands, a footwear supplier to the military since World War II, launched the Coyote Brown boot, designed to coordinate with the new Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) being introduced by the Army.