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.
Benefits Of Running Barefoot!
1. Promotes Recovery
Barefoot jogging is also a good option for those who are injured but still need to exercise regularly.
Regular shoes force you to fall on your heel, which can lead to an imbalance and strains and injuries.
As a result, many coaches and physical therapists advise jogging barefoot.
It will relieve any tension and prevent fractures. It will also aid in the rehabilitation of runners and keep them safe from additional danger.
2. Prevents Plantar Fasciitis
In a roundabout approach, barefoot running may aid in the prevention of plantar fasciitis (pain in the bottom of your foot near your heel). Why?
Running with bare feet, as previously said, typically leads to improved technique and cadence. Your plantar fascia might be strained by sloppy running form.
Bad running technique causes inefficient muscle firing patterns in the lower leg, which can lead to overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis.
3. Burns More Calories
Running shoes have springy soles that help propel you forward. When you remove the shoes, the beneficial bounce vanishes.
Because barefoot running is more difficult and taxing, there’s a strong probability you’ll burn more calories doing it.
4. You Will Be Connected To The Nature
What better way to connect with mother nature than to feel it while running your heart out?
Some people believe that running barefoot gives them a sense of connecting to the land and makes them feel closer to their actual selves.
For people who are fatigued from the daily grind of the metropolitan environment, this type of activity can lighten their load and relieve stress.
5. Improves Blood Circulation (Especially In Feet)
Barefoot running, according to another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, can improve blood circulation.
This advantage is connected to the stimulation of latent muscles while jogging barefoot.
Once these muscles are recruited, blood flow is easier, oxygen transfer is easier, and the risk of heart disease is reduced.
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!