Recent research by the University of Manchester psychologists suggest that a general consensus of individuals who participate in physical activity lean away from barefoot running. According to researcher Peter Walton, “barefoot running has been used by humans for hundreds of thousands of years, yet running shoes as we known them were only introduced in 1972.” Walton believes that barefoot and minimalist running can be beneficial for the feet, despite general consensus.
Barefoot running is a fairly popular trend in the running world. More than just simply ‘running without shoes,” barefoot running affects the way your feet hit the ground and your overall posture. Barefoot runners land on the front part of their feet as opposed to those who wear shoes, who usually strike their heel as they hit the ground.
Barefoot running contains many advantages, including:
- A lower risk for ankle and foot injuries
- Improvement in balance and body posture
- Strengthens muscles in the lower legs, ankles and feet that are not normally worked when wearing shoes
There are also some disadvantages to barefoot running, which include:
- Lack of shoes increases the risk of incurring blisters, scrapes, bruises and cuts
- Risk of Achilles tendonitis as a result of landing on the front of your feet constantly
- Needing time and transition to adjust as the switch cannot be automatic
Start on even, flat surfaces and consider investing in minimalist running shoes. Minimalist running shoes provide the ‘feel’ of barefoot running while affording the same protection you get from wearing shoes. Barefoot running can be safe and enjoyable with the proper planning and transition.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in New York, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.