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Running Barefoot in the Park - Yay or Nay?

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 00:00

Milind Soman is a marathon runner who was forced to experiment with barefoot running in 2011 when he developed a blister on his foot. In regards to his experience, Soman states “My feet felt refreshed and energized. There were minute changes in my form, balance and posture that made my running movement feel more effortless. I even found that it encouraged me to run from the core.” He mentions that it took him over a year for his muscles to adjust to barefoot running, and that he had to gradually increase his running distance to a half-marathon. Many people are following the barefoot running trend, as they believe it strengthens the feet and is more natural compared to wearing highly-cushioned shoes. However, if you are considering transitioning to barefoot running, it is advised that you start out with shorter distances before working your way up to long distances.

Barefoot running has its own share of benefits and disadvantages. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Apple Podiatry Group. Our doctors 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 office located in Arlington, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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