Maxmimalist shoes (i.e. running shoes with oversized foam midsoles) were the subject of a question at Fitness Stack Exchange, which I answered, but I had to rely on anecdote.

Advocates of the shoes argue:

First, it feels comfortable underfoot on every footstrike. But there’s also the lessened impact stress inflicted on the body, and runners who swear by Hokas will tell you the extra foam reduces the amount of recovery time needed from a long run or race. Then there’s the idea of increased energy return, which each of these companies and many runners say is increased considerably in max cushioned shoes.

Is there evidence that running shoes with larger foam midsoles reduces injury?

  • I would be surprised if there was evidence of increased energy return in the strike: the more cushion, the more impact is absorbed by the foot, and therefore limiting remaining energy your biomechanics can use for the following strike. – ChrisR Jan 5 '14 at 11:00
  • I wonder why this question hasn't had much interest. Is there just no research on this topic? – user16797 Jan 13 '14 at 20:59

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