Runners needed for UCT study investigating risks of injury in minimalist running footwear
August 21, 2015  

Supplied by Tracy Abrahams from WPA
Are you an avid runner on both trail and/or road? Do you run in minimalist shoes?  There has been much speculation of the benefits of running barefoot or in minimalist shoes, most importantly regarding concerns of injuries associated with this mode of training. We believe that it’s essential to understand the risks of injury associated with running in minimalist shoes.
The UCT Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine positioned at the Sports Science Institute of SA (SSISA) in Newlands, is recruiting participants for a new study and are excited to announce their intention to conduct research investigating the risks of injury in minimalist runners. We will be using harmless non-invasive measures such as breath-by-breath gas analysis (for measurement of running efficiency),high speed cameras, motion capture cameras (as used in the animation industry) and measurement of your muscle activity to analyse the changes in body’s muscles and joint when running either in your minimalist shoes and when barefoot.
These data may provide useful information pertaining to the adaptations necessary, in order to train effectively and possibly decrease injury occurence. Thus manufacturers of minimal running shoes may be able to safely promote this form of training, along with appropriate recommendations for the transition to barefoot or minimalist training.
Requirements for eligible volunteers:
·         Runners (18 - 50 years of age) who have been injury-free for the past year to date.
·         Be able to run 10km in under 60 minutes and train four times a week.
·         Have run barefoot or in minimalist shoes as your choice of footwear for more than 6 months.
Then we need your current training shoes and your FEET.
Volunteers will NOT be able to participate if they:
·         Have a current or past history of physical deformities, orthopaedic abnormalities, neurological disorders, diabetes mellitus or previous lower limb pathologies/surgeries for the past year to date.
·         Are pregnant or currently lactating.
During the study, participants will need to:
·         Attend a once-off visit to the biomechanics laboratory based at the SSISA with comprehensive testing trials to assess overground running (measures include biomechanics and muscle activity).
·         Complete a training and medical questionnaire.
·         Undergo height, weight, leg lengths, knee and ankle widths, skinfold as well as flexibility measurements.
What are the benefits of taking part in the study?
After participating you will be provided with the information, benefits and risk of injury when running barefoot and in minimalist shoes. Additionally, we will provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your running biomechanics and muscle activity. Please note that participants will be recruited on a voluntary, first come/first serve basis.
The Biomechanics Laboratory. Sports Science Institute of South Africa, Newlands, Cape Town.
Date of study:
September –  15 October 2015
For more information and to apply, please contact before 30 September 2015:
Yasteel Dass on e-mail:
Cell: +27 (0)798912913