Gradual Transition Advised for New Barefoot Runners

With the increased general interest in barefoot running, it has been recommended by experts that runners seeking to make the transition do so gradually. Therefore, new barefoot runners who transition too fast, too soon incur the risk of suffering a stress fracture or calf strain. This was conducted by a study published by Human Movement Science which monitored 18 runners who went barefoot suddenly after being accustomed to wearing shoes. With proper transition, the benefits seem to outweigh the disadvantages.

new barefoot runners

Also, allowing your body time to adjust properly to barefoot running is essential, and part of this preventative care involves talking to a podiatrist like Dr. Neal Mozen of Foot Health Care Associates. Dr. Mozen can advise you on a running regimen, as well as provide information on techniques of barefoot running to help avoid foot pain, heel pain, and injury.

Barefoot Running Impact

  • Running without shoes changes the motion of your running
  • Running barefoot requires landing be done on the front part of the feet as opposed to the heel

Barefoot Running Advantages

  • Running and landing on the front feet reduces the impact on the knees and ankles
  • It strengthens muscles in the feet and ankles and the lower legs.
  • Improved body balance
  • Greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.

Barefoot Running Disadvantages

  • No protection while running, resulting in cuts and bruises if the runner lands on something sharp.
  • Blisters may form.
  • Possibility of plantar fascia problems.
  • Risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.

So, what can runners do to make barefoot running safe? It’s best to make a slow transition from running shoes to barefoot running. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increasing the distance. In addition, minimalist running shoes may also be an option.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices which are located in Southfield, MI, Livonia, MI, and Novi, MI.  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read the full article on Barefoot Running.