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Bretta Riches

Founder of Run Forefoot


Bretta is interested in the neurobiological mechanisms of biomechanics in the context of running. Specifically, she is interested in the influences of landing strategies at the proprioceptive level and the underlying brain-behavior associations regarding landing strategies in habitual barefoot runners.

Because habitual shod runners seem to have difficulties acquiring a running technique that reduces impact, habitual barefoot runners are more resistant to injury via the use of a more sensible landing strategy. In principle, the barefoot landing strategy (i.e. forefoot strike) seems to prevent preventable running-related injuries.

Though the work of Dr. Steven Robbins (MD) and Dr. Daniel Lieberman (PhD) uncovered clues about how to run safer by running barefoot, unfortunately research is at the beginning of understanding the importance of proprioception on mediating safe running behavior.

Her area of interest focuses on how long-term use of cushioned footwear effects proprioceptor density and signaling and how a loss of proprioception manifests as poor motor control and inadequate impact-moderating behavior during running