Barefoot Running : Is it right for you?

There has been a lot of talk lately about running without shoes or with minimalist shoes. Some studies have shown less torque and pressure on your knees and hips. Some proponents of barefoot running tout benefits, such as reduced impact on the joints of the legs, fewer acute and chronic lower-extremity injuries. If there is a chance of less injuries, is running without shoes right for you?

At this point, I think most people should be running with a stable running shoe and forget about barefoot running. If you want to run barefoot on the beach for a short period of time, no problem, but please don’t run on the street barefoot. There have been no conclusive studies showing that barefoot running leads to less injuries. It has been shown that if you run on your toes as you tend to do when you are running barefoot you do have less torque and pressure on your joints as compared to a normal heel toe gait which you have when wearing running shoes. I still think it is not a reason to run barefoot, but it may be a motivation to run part of the time on your toes with shoes.

Exercising on a regular basis should be a part of your weekly schedule, the benefits of this have been shown many times. Please make sure you put on your shoes to walk or run outside or on the treadmill. And of course don’t forget to change your shoes on a regular basis, every six to eight months or every 300 to 400 miles of running. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

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