It’s most likely that this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of this topic. It seems to be abuzz in the news, where doctors and marathon runners claiming that shoes are not as good as we think. How can this be? Shoes have been around since the written history of man. How can multi-billion dollar shoe companies who pay loads for this kind of research be wrong? Isn’t barefoot running a step backwards for man kind? Lets take a look at the facts, and try to not get caught in what might just be another new trend.
The “Benefits” of Barefoot Running
Running barefoot causes less collision force to the feet than running in cushioned shoes.
Why is this you think? Well it seems that runners who forgo their sneakers end up running on the balls of their feet, whereas those with shoes are more likely to end up running on their heels. Landing on your heels while running can create 2 or even 3 times the impact than landing on the balls or middle of your feet. I’m still skeptical about this claim and here’s my theory behind it. If you are running barefoot and you’re trying to run on your heels, you’re going to be in pain. Barefoot running punishes incorrect running and running with shoes on allows you to build the bad habit of running on your heels.
Wearing shoes causes our smaller feet muscles to weaken
This claim may have some truth behind it. If you are running barefoot, you’re going to have to use all your toes, tendons, and ligaments to prevent hurting yourself from the terrain. This increase in activity can help your body improve its balance and reflex when it comes to movement.
Barefoot runners receive less foot injuries
This is simply not true. The injuries that both barefoot and shoe runners experience are not the result of what they are or are not wearing, but from improper running. The process itself in starting to run barefoot involves your feet getting calluses. The whole point in your body doing that, is to protect itself from the excessive use of your feet in such a manner. Not only would you have to worry about unsightly calluses, but you would also be at risk for stepping on glass, nails, and other unclean, potentially dangerous artifacts.
Overall it may feel nice to run around barefoot, but I would advise you to leave it where it belongs. Run at the beach or the park barefoot, but save your feet from potential harm on roads and other such surfaces.