BRONXVILLE N.Y. ‒ Many Bronxville residents and runners have joined the minimalist running movement, where athletes are encouraged to run with a minimally padded shoe.
The minimalist trend is one of the biggest things in running right now, said Mike DiBlasi, of the Bronxville Running Company, located at 52 Pondfield Road. The movement centers on the belief that running without a thick sole permits a more natural range of motion with every stride.
These days, many runners are interested in specialty sneakers that provide support for specific activities, said DiBlasi.
"The thing we really try to tell people is that the people who have been running barefoot or without padding have been doing so for their entire life, so their bodies have adapted to it," said DiBlasi. "That is to say, a person can't just go from running with a normal shoe to a minimal one without most likely injuring themselves."
Runners should gradually increase their usage of a minimalist running shoe and do leg strengthening exercises before running far in them, said DiBlasi. A person who is new to a minimal shoe should run in them only 30 percent of their regular running routine, and even then it could take up to a year for their body to fully adapt, he continued.
The belief is that these shoes will improve a person's stride and make them a better runner, but nothing is gauranteed, said DiBlasi.
"The quote that always makes me laugh is by a prominent runner who said all the guys in front of me are going really fast, and they're all wearing shoes," said DiBlasi. "When someone beats me without a normal sneaker, then I'll consider it."