Barefoot Running/Minimalist Shoes
Running without shoes, or Barefoot running, has become popular recently. The concept behind it is that it promotes a midfoot strike instead of a heel strike. This change is foot strike can reduce the compressive load and help reduce injury.
Professional trainers can determine if this type of running works for you and provide exercises to help transition into it. Shoes designed for barefoot running can be purchased which offer no support or cushion, but provide some protection from sharp surfaces or objects.
Shoe companies also design “minimalist” shoes that compare to barefoot running. A typical running shoe has a 10-12mm heel to reduce compressive load. A minimalist shoe has less cushion, which causes a lower heel to toe drop. This causes the runner to strike with the front of the foot and not the heel.
Seek a Professional
Determining what type of runner you are and what shoe suits you can be evaluated by a professional. If you decide to evaluate this on your own, observe your footprint after coming out of the shower or pool. A wide foot corresponds with a pronated foot, whereas if the footprint is missing the inside of the foot, you have a supinated foot type.
Knowing your foot type is the initial step in purchasing the correct shoe, but this may be better magnified during running. A professional can analyze this based on your movement patterns.
Current Podiatric Thoughts on Barefoot Running
Much of the current literature, based on research is against barefoot running. Especially if running outdoors, the risks do not outweigh the benefits.
Barefoot and Minimalist shoes are the best for babies and small children, however, to strengthen the smaller muscles of the feet.
For evaluation and management of your feet see a Podiatrist.
Call Beaver Valley Foot Clinic at 878-313-3338 today!