Well they don’t really, but why can I not make up that headline like that as the barefoot running community do it all the time (see Intellectual Dishonesty). Surely if they do it, why can’t the rest of us do it? Mainly because we are not that irresponsible and dishonest.
But, here is my logic behind the headline: Stress fractures have been related to muscle fatigue in the this study: The Influence of Muscle Fatigue on Electromyogram and Plantar Pressure Patterns as an Explanation for the Incidence of Metatarsal Stress Fractures (the study did not actually show that, but they speculated that in the discussion and title – but the barefoot community do not let little facts like that get in the way of how they interpret and tout research that they pretend supports their cause, so give me some latitude here). And we have this study: Motion control shoes may reduce the injury risk in runners (my fake headline!) that was recently published and suggested that there is less muscle fatigue in motion control running shoes (the study did not actually show what my fake headline claimed, but the barefoot running community do not let little facts like that get in the way of how they interpret and tout research that they pretend supports their cause, so give me some more latitude here).
So now let’s apply the 2+2=5 logic that the barefoot running community apply so often and conclude that shod runners get less stress fractures. They get less stress fractures as they have less muscle fatigue and more muscle fatigue is associated with stress fractures. This means that barefoot runners must get more stress fractures in comparison.
This is the logical conclusion, isn’t it? But, I am not that irresponsible as I know there is not one study that shows there are more stress fractures in barefoot runners. So I am not going to make the claim that barefoot runners get more stress fractures.
The point I am trying to make, is that this is the typical way the barefoot running community act in making their extraordinary unsupported claims. They make them up. They misrepresent and misinterpret research. They even lie about research. Then they pretend the research supports what they are doing, when it does not.