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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.

If you have any questions about barefoot running, see one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Podiatry. Our doctors will attend to your foot and ankle needs.

Barefoot Running

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.

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http://kuam.images.worldnow.com/images/4160284_G.jpgEddie Vilbar Vega, “the Barefoot Bandito,” is a prolific barefoot marathon runner who decided one day to use his hobby to contribute to a good cause. He partnered with Soles4Souls, a philanthropic organization designed to assist children who can’t afford to buy necessities like shoes, and pledged to break the world record for “Most Barefoot Marathons Run in One Year” to increase the amount of funds he raised for them.

Vega became the title holder for the record early in July of this year, and also became the first person to complete 50 marathons fully barefoot. His next goal is to run races without shoes in all 50 U.S. states.

Anyone can become a “Barefoot Bandito” if they work hard enough and take the right precautions. For professional help with becoming a barefoot runner, contact podiatrist Dr. Sorelis Jiménez, DPM of Foot Health Podiatry. Dr. Jiménez will guide you through the transition to shoeless running to make sure that you don’t hurt yourself in the process. 

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 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.

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.

For more information about Barefoot Running, follow the link below.

If you have any questions, please contact our office located in New York, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Barefoot Running