A study conducted by University of Colorado doctoral student Jason Franz has shown that barefoot running is really not all its cracked up to be. In fact, the study actually found that more people run efficiently wearing shoes than going barefoot.
The experiments, held in the locomotion lab, observed runners’ oxygen intake and carbon dioxide exhalation while running on a treadmill. The volunteers ran with both a lightweight running shoe and completely barefoot (but with equivalent weight to the shoe attached to the foot). The results were that the body requires about three to four percent more energy exertion whilst running barefoot. Franz speculates that the adjustments you make to cushion the impacts while running may require more metabolic energy from the body.
Barefoot running can be a difficult transition from traditional running. If you would like more guidance and more information, talk to podiatrist Dr. Stephen A. Kinard, DPM of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Dr. Kinard will treat your podiatric needs.
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 contact one of our offices which are located in Ahoskie, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
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