According to Science These Cult Running Shoes Are Making Your Legs Bigger
Whether you’re a pro ultramarathon runner or just someone who likes to hit the treadmill every now and again (no shame—Beyonce sometimes uses the humble piece of gym equipment in her own workout routine), you’ll likely have heard of barefoot trainers. Also called minimalist running shoes, these cult sneakers are inspired by the idea that running barefoot reduces the amount of impact on your feet. A huge deal in the paleo community, they're a common sight in most gyms. Big fan? If you're looking to slim down your legs it might be time to trade them in for a good old fashioned pair of trainers. Why? According to a new study conducted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Harvard Medical School, they're making your calves bigger.
The study looked at what happened to the legs and feet of 20 regular runners who swapped their traditional running sneakers for barefoot runners and followed an exercise programme, as compared to 18 runners who followed the same programme in their usual shoes. Essentially it found that after six months of training in minimalist shoes there was a sizable increase in muscle volume in the legs and feet. (MRI scanning revealed a gain in leg muscles of 7.05% and foot muscles of 8.8%.) Far be it from us to suggest that this is bad thing, but unless you're currently attempting to rehab or build up those muscles, a gain in size may not be what you're aiming for. (On the flipside, if you are, have at it!) The thinking behind the results is that because barefoot runners provide minimal cushioning and no arch support, the runner's muscles respond to higher strain by beefing up in order to stabilise and strengthen the feet and legs.
If you're on the hunt for new sneaks, we can't go past these monochrome trainers from Nike ($130).