Is barefoot running really better than running with shoes? Pro barefooters say that running without shoes increases strength and balance, but are the dangers worth the risks?
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world full of soft fields of cushy grass. If you run on a street or sidewalk, that’s a very hard surface to be impacting with your feet over and over and over again. If you’re not quite built for it, your feet could become seriously injured.
Secondly, without shoes on, your feet are open to any attack the world has to offer. Nails, rocks, twigs, pebbles, stray toothpicks, dirt, crazed dogs, you name it, it’s out there. While calluses will be built up, they aren’t going to stop most of what your feet might happen to step on. Cuts or other injuries to your feet could put a damper on your training, especially if an infection follows.
Barefoot running may slightly increase your strength and balance, but I don’t believe it’s worth the risks. Nothing cuts your training off faster than an injury, particularly a foot injury.
East Penn Foot and Ankle Associates are expert in treating runners’ sports injuries.