Image via WikipediaAre you a runner? Does your day lack something if you can’t start the morning with that outing that really gets your blood pumping? Well, how do you feel about this barefoot running trend? Of course barefoot means without shoes. Then there is minimalist running which is running with “barely there” shoes. Barefoot running might be great in some instances, but here in the real world, seldom can you hand pick your surfaces each day to include soft grassy fields. More often, you see runners pounding the concrete. Without shoes, you would be increasing, immeasurably, the chance of puncture wounds, lacerations and infections. It’s sad to think about a runner being sidelined by an injury that could have so easily been prevented by wearing shoes. But this just scratches the surface, so to speak. What does barefoot running mean as far as support and impact to your tissues, muscles, joints and bones?
Barefoot running has become a hot debate, and there are probably arguments that can be made for running both with and without shoes, but in order for an argument to have validity, it needs to be backed by research. Although there are people who have been running barefoot for years, have the studies really been performed and the results carefully analyzed in scientifically controlled experiments, or are people just exercising their right to preference? It will certainly be interesting to find out what the next ten years holds for this trend. It seems that if it were truly beneficial, everyone would be running without shoes on. Some people say that they just like the way it feels free, allowing the air to move across their feet. Similar arguments are used by motorcycle riders who refuse to wear helmets. But there can be no denying that the use of helmets undoubtedly prevents injuries and probably saves lives.
One other point for consideration here, although it may be growing in popularity, it might not be right for you. Talk to your podiatrist and get their expert opinion on the matter, especially if you already have a foot problem that you are dealing with. You would not want to contribute to an existing problem. If you are in need of a podiatrist, check out Dr. Teichman at PA Foot & Ankle Associates.
Do you have an experience or a story that you would like to share with us that involves barefoot running? Please feel free to comment below, we would love to hear from you!