As an investigation of the evolution of the minimalist shoes, the purpose of this thesis was to examine popularity trends of the rise and fall of the minimalist movement. By evaluating the history and research behind the designs of the minimalist shoes, this thesis viewed the peak in popularity when minimalist shoes first made their debut. Initially, footwear sales skyrocketed upon its introduction. Its popularity grew due the prospective effects of improving athletic performance and the possibility of decreasing the prevalence of running-related injuries. To understand the sales trends of the footwear industry, various shoe examples from the different categories of footwear padding were also examined. Hence, after learning more about each type of footwear, it is crucial to understand how to transition safely and without injury. Injury prevalence has been suggested to be associated with the change in biomechanics involved with changing a runner’s footwear. Through the review of research literature on the subject, 33 sources of peerreviewed studies, found via Google Scholar or EBSCOHost using select key word searches, were taken into account. After reviewing the results and conclusions, a common finding suggest that more research is needed to come to clear consensus. There is not enough evidence to suggest that the use of minimalist shoes either lowered the risk of injury or improved performance. Hence, the decline of minimalist movement may have been due to the unfulfilled benefits that were proposed. After consumers did not reap the benefits of transitioning to minimalist shoes, sales trends continued to fall.
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Fisher, Thomas J.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Sport and Exercise Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Sommarvong, Samantha L., "An Investigation of the Evolution of the Minimalist Shoe Through a Review of Research Literature" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1905.