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Barefoot Running: Is it Worth the Hype?

Monday, 29 July 2019

When it comes to barefoot running, the consequence is in the amount rather than the activity itself. Barefoot running should consistently be treated like a new activity, which means start with a small dose and then progressively increase the distance each time you run. This allows for the body to get better acquainted with the activity and creates a low risk environment. On the other hand, if you don’t pace yourself, then you will become more prone to injuries. It is considered easier to gain proper running form from being barefoot compared to wearing shoes. This is because when you are barefoot, you aren’t prone to some aspects of poor form that present themselves while wearing shoes. When running barefoot, it is easier to take shorter strides in order to reduce impact forces on the lower legs. The most important part of barefoot running is to run by effort and feel rather than pace. This is due to the purpose of barefoot running being to improve efficiency, get stronger and to reduce your risk for injury. It is important when taking up barefoot running that you start off at a comfortable pace, and then slowly build yourself up. If you find yourself interested in this style of running, you should consult with a podiatrist to see if it is a good option for you.

 

Barefoot running has its own share of benefits and disadvantages. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Martin Sloan from Lake Pointe Foot & Ankle. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Barefoot Running

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, ankles and 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.

So, what can runners do to make barefoot running safe? 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. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Rockwall and Abilene, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Benefits of Barefoot Running
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