Will running barefoot provide any benefits?

Podiatrist Claire Barrand discusses barefoot running.

The Barefoot running phenomenon has received quite a lot of media coverage and talk among runners in recent years however, this concept is not new.

In fact in the 1960 Olympics competitor Abebe Bikila won Gold, barefoot.

Many research studies have been conducted since then to understand the altered running mechanics of running barefoot.

Barefoot running does decrease stride length but increase stride rate.

This could potentially cause more repetitive stress on the forefoot causing injury, while at the same time, barefoot running can also take pressure away from the hip and knee.

In more recent times, barefoot running can also mean running in a minimalist shoe such as the Vibram Classic, as one example.

However….this form of running can have its disadvantages too –increasing forefoot injuries and overuse injuries because running barefoot encourages you to run on your forefoot.

The jury is still out on running shod Vs unshod. And to be honest, I wouldn’t want to run without wearing shoes.

Your podiatrist can help in assessing your running gait if you are experiencing foot pain with exercise or running and also advise on the right running shoe for your foot shape/type.

To make an appointment to see the Friendlies Physiotherapy Service podiatrist, telephone 4331 1888.

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