Author Christopher McDougall set off the barefoot running trend a few years ago when he released his book, Born To Run. The writer has long since stopped wearing thick cushioned running shoes that rose to popularity in the 1980s and 90s from brands such as Nike and Adidas. McDougall’s belief in barefoot running stems in its 2 million year-long history. “The purpose of running barefoot is not to run faster. The idea is trying to understand what your body does and get rid of all the variables. Back to first principles.”
Barefoot running is a fairly popular trend in the running world. More than just simply ‘running without shoes,” barefoot running affects the way your feet hit the ground and your overall posture. Barefoot runners land on the front part of their feet as opposed to those who wear shoes, who usually strike their heel as they hit the ground.
Barefoot running contains many advantages, including:
- A lower risk for ankle and foot injuries
- Improvement in balance and body posture
- Strengthens muscles in the lower legs, ankles and feet that are not normally worked when wearing shoes
There are also some disadvantages to barefoot running, which include:
- Lack of shoes increases the risk of incurring blisters, scrapes, bruises and cuts
- Risk of Achilles tendonitis as a result of landing on the front of your feet constantly
- Needing time and transition to adjust as the switch cannot be automatic
Start on even, flat surfaces and consider investing in minimalist running shoes. Minimalist running shoes provide the ‘feel’ of barefoot running while affording the same protection you get from wearing shoes. Barefoot running can be safe and enjoyable with the proper planning and transition.
If you have any questions, please contact our office located in Lansdale, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot ankle injuries.