Walking barefoot, whether you’re outside or at inside, can help benefit your overall foot health. According to Patrick McKeon, professor at Ithaca College’s School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, muscles that normally wouldn’t be exercised are used, helping to encourage increased stability and balance. Going barefoot helps improve balance, posture, and even prevent common foot injuries. McKeon recommends that “5-10% of the distance in a running routine should be barefoot,” but avoid running or walking during the winter.
Barefoot running has its own share of benefits and disadvantages. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Robert J. Kaplan of Twin Rivers Podiatry Easton. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle 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 feel free to contact our office in Easton, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.