A British study published in Footwear Science analyzed the effects of running in experimental heel less footwear compared with conventional running shoes with reinforced heels. The objective was to see if the heel less footwear would reduce the risk of chronic injury related to the habitual rear-foot strike pattern associated with conventional heeled shoes.
Using eight cameras with optoelectric running motion capture technology, 12 male runners were tracked at four meters per second. The heel less running shoe resulted in less impact, greater plantar flexion and greater ankle eversion (rolling outward). The researchers concluded that the heel less shoes decreased the risk of chronic running foot injuries linked to excessive impact forces, but concede they may increase injury potential associated with excessive ankle eversion.