Some great stuff out of the '09 International Ankle Symposium from this past summer:
"CLAIM AND COUNTERCLAIM: FOOTWEAR AND FOOT AND ANKLE MECHANICS DURING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY"
RICHARD SMITH, Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Compared lower leg & foot mechanics during barefoot running to running with so called "neutral" & "dual-density" shoes. Their conclusion was, "The change is not always that which was intended by the shoe maker. The ground/shoe/rearfoot interface with the shank can be the
promoter or recipient of the motion drivers." Across the board there was more ankle motion/less mid-tarsal joint motion with the shoes. In the "stability" shoes, they noted tibial external rotation began much earlier than in barefoot-even while the knee was still flexing at ground contact. What do you think? Can this make one more susceptible to ankle sprains?