inov-8 have published a booklet of information titled ‘Making The Transition to Natural Running’. The booklet can be downloaded as a PDF here. http://www.inov-8.com/transition/
The claims made in the booklet are back up by the research listed on this page http://www.inov-8.com/research/
The booklet explains how inov-8 believe that runners should use the least amount of support in the shoes that they can, but the transition from well cushioned, pronation control shoes to more minimalist footwear needs to be very gradual. If you are happy in your current shoes and injury free then there is no need to do anything, but despite the level of cushioning and control in running shoes consistently increasing for 20 years injury rates remain unchanged. If you have repeated runners lower leg injuries, then it is a avenue worth exploring.
All inov-8 shoes have a Shoc-Zone rating of 0 – 4, which is the amount of cushioning in the shoe and the height differential from toe to heel (the two go hand in hand). Zero means no difference and Zone 4 is 12mm. The less height differential in the shoe, the harder and more obvious it is if you are badly heel striking. If you currently use a shoe with a large midsole wedge then you need to gradually (over several pairs of shoes and possibly years) need to reduce the height differential. Trail shoes currently only go down to Shoc-Zone 2 but fell shoes go all the way to Zero.
As you can read in my previous post I have benefited from following this path and that’s why Facewest are stocking some minimalist footwear and promoting the philosophy. There is much debate on the internet both informed and less so about barefoot or natural running. Enjoy…