BAREFOOT runners can run faster and end up using less oxygen, a scientist from the University of Portsmouth has said.
The study was carried out by researcher Kevin Reeves who has recently completed his masters in Sports Performance at the university.
It is published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.
He found that barefoot runners use their bodies more economically when running at higher speeds and they can also run faster than when wearing shoes.
He said: ‘The results show that barefoot runners use oxygen more economically, which means they can run for longer – much like the fuel economy of a car.
‘This also means that runners can reach higher speeds because they have saved energy.
‘This research is relevant to competitive athletes – especially those who take part in long-distance running training and races – because barefoot running might help them improve.’
Kevin was inspired to conduct the research because the interest in barefoot running has increased in recent years.
The study was conducted with eight male runners who completed one barefoot and one shod running trial on a treadmill.
Kevin was also awarded the British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences Master’s Dissertation (BASES) of the year award for his work.