Sport Innovation/Barefoot Running
Since the introduction of the modern running shoe in the 1970's (Lieberman, et al., 2010), footwear manufacturers have claimed to accommodate specifically for every foot; motion control for low arches, cushioning for high arches and stability for normal arches (Rixe, Gallo, & Silvis, 2012). This has been achieved through fancy air-pocket and gel sacks, to cushioned soles and "motion control" technology (Collier, 2011; Rixe, Gallo, & Silvis; Ryan 2010).
Despite these advances, the prevalence of running injuries, especially to the hips, knees and ankles, have increased (Kerrigan, et al., 2009; McGregor & Wallack, 2011). It has been suggested that it was Christopher McDougall's 2009 "Born To Run" book which started the barefoot-running craze (Bates, 2012; McGregor & Wallack). Since then, a number of barefoot shoes have hit the market offering a safe alternative to the latest shod-footwear, whilst still providing the benefit of protection to uneven terrains, adverse weather conditions and outright dangerous surfaces (Ryan, 2010). Some of these innovative footwear include ....... However, it is the first (and most popular) barefoot running product,Vibram's FiveFingers which will be discussed in further detail.