One of the hottest trends amongst runners is the idea that barefoot running is a healthier, more natural and preferable way to run than that of running utilizing the modern running shoe. If you’ve decided to give barefoot running a go, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind in order to prevent injury and reap the rewards that a barefoot running style can provide.
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 realize the benefits of running barefoot vs. running with high 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 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 for injured runners or runners with chronic injuries as they realize that can run again. Most ailments are caused from the shock our feet have to absorb every time the heel hits the ground, which leads to chronic pain and injuries. The benefits of barefoot running are also derived from moving from a heel-first strike that then get’s rolled over to the toe for pushing off for another stride, to a more shuffling gait on the balls of your feet that utilizes the natural spring action of your arch; resulting in reduced impact on the body’s joints and muscles.
Barefoot running puts the pressure on the ball of the foot where it was meant to be as exposed to the heel where a majority of runners land when wearing shoes. The ball of the foot was meant to be used as a natural shock absorber. Try it yourself. Run barefoot for a few yards and see if you land on your heels. Chances 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 barefoot strike hits the ground at the ball of the foot.
Barefoot running is something that each 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.
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