Barefoot Running May Be More Harmful than Beneficial

Walking%20and%20Exercising.pngResearch that was conducted by University of Colorado doctoral student Jason Franz found that running while barefoot may not be beneficial body-wise. In the University’s Locomotion Lab, the research found that people run less efficiently while barefoot compared to running with lightweight running shoes on their feet. The experiments conducted studied runners’ oxygen intake and exhalation while they were running on a treadmill.

The results of the research stated the human body exerts three to four percent more energy while running barefoot compared to running with shoes. Franz speculates that the adjustments made while running barefoot require more energy.

Barefoot running is different from regular running in a few important ways. To learn the facts about running without shoes on, talk to podiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Conforti of New Jersey. Dr. Conforti can teach you about the biomechanics involved with barefoot running and help you transition into using this technique if you so choose.

Barefoot Running

The Impact of Barefoot Running
-Running without shoes changes the motion of your running, as most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet.
-Running barefoot requires a different way of running; the landing is done on the front part of the feet.

The Advantages of Barefoot Running
-When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the feet and ankle is reduced, this can reduce stress injuries.
-It strengthens muscles in the feet and ankles and the lower legs.
-Balance of the body is improved and there is a greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.

The Drawbacks of Barefoot Running
-No protection while running, makes it likely that runners will land on sharp objects and scrapes, bruises and cuts on the feet will result.
-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. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office, located in Paramus, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Barefoot Running

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