Physical therapist and University of Central Florida instructor Carey Rothschild, recently conducted a study on barefoot running which was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Rothschild surveyed 785 runners for her study. She concluded that barefoot running may help some people, but that others could potentially injure themselves if they do not allow their bodies to adjust properly to barefoot running.
Allowing your body time to adjust properly to barefoot running is essential, and part of this preventative care involves talking to a podiatrist like Dr. Zahid Ladha, F.A.C.F.A.S. of Foot First Podiatry. Dr. Ladha can advise you on a running regimen, as well as provide information on techniques of barefoot running to help avoid foot pain, heel pain, and injury.
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. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office which is located in New Albany, IN. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.
Read the full article on Barefoot Running.