The athletic community has contended with a debate when it comes to minimalist, or barefoot running. Proponents of wearing shoes while running believe that going bare can increase the chance of becoming injured. Meanwhile, barefoot runners claim there is no risk of injury at all and that shoes are counter-intuitive to human biology when running.
Scientists put their weigh-in and assert that these differences hardly matter at all. Allison Gruber, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s biomechanics laboratory, told Outside. “The best shoe for a runner is highly individualized.” Ultimately, researchers believe that preventing running injuries should come from good habits.
Barefoot running is a controversial but viable option for runners. For more information, consult with podiatrist Dr. Brian Tedesco of Complete Foot & Ankle Care. Dr. Tedesco can help you determine what type of running works best for you.
The Impact of Barefoot Running
-Running without shoes changes the motion of your running, as most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet.
-Running barefoot requires a different way of running; the landing is done on the front part of the feet.
The Advantages of Barefoot Running
-When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the feet and ankle is reduced, this can reduce stress injuries.
-It strengthens muscles in the feet and ankles and the lower legs.
-Balance of the body is improved and there is a greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.
The Drawbacks of Barefoot Running
-No protection while running, makes it likely that runners will land on sharp objects and scrapes, bruises and cuts on the feet will result.
-Blisters may form.
-Possibility of plantar fascia problems.
-Risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.
It’s best to make a slow transition from running shoes to barefoot running. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increasing the distance.
If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
Read more about Barefoot Running.