One would think that in this day and age barefoot running would be a thing of the past but actually, it is slowly making a comeback. More runners are realizing the benefits of running barefoot vs. running with high tech shoes. Modern running shoes have a feel as you walk on springs. They are comfortable, soft, and feel they give you support you need while running. But feelings can be deceptive. A research study has shown that running shoes actually increase the strain on the foot, the knee, and the hip joints while compared to running barefoot. Researchers attribute this to the typical design of running shoes.
Barefoot running is becoming an option to injured runners or runners with chronic injuries as they realize that are able to run again. Most ailments are caused from the shock our feet have to absorb every time the heel hits the ground, which lead to injuries and chronic pain. Running barefoot puts the pressure on the ball of the foot where it was meant to be as opposed to the heel where a majority of runners land when wearing shoes. The ball of the foot was meant to be used as natural shock absorber. Try it yourself. Run barefoot for a few yards and see if you land on your heels. Changes are you won’t. In many countries, barefoot running is still the norm. Studies show that barefoot running is associated with lower instances of ankle sprains and strains, knee injuries and a lower instance of chronic lower leg injury including shin splints.
Running is a wonderful sport, but it requires healthy feet and a healthy musculoskeletal system. By running in modern, soft cushioned running shoes most runners lose their natural foot function and natural running technique. Barefoot running does not have those risks because it does not go against the natural strike of the foot. Wearing a shoe does go against the natural strike of the foot as the foot strikes the ground at the heel while the bare foot strike hits the ground at the ball of the foot.
Barefoot running is something that each individual personal must decide if it is right for them or not as it does have its pros and its cons. Special toe shoes can protect the foot while running barefoot. If someone is interested in barefoot running, it is best that they consult with their podiatrist to get the best possible information relating to the issue. This type of running could prove to be very beneficial in the long run.