Barefoot Running Helps Marathon Runner Reach the Finish Line
By Dr. Bruce Theall
June 26, 2012
Category: Running
Tags: barefoot running   marathon   leg pain  

Shelly Noland will run her 14th marathon, and third Grandma’s marathon, with her new shoes that mimic barefoot running. For the ninth time she will be wearing Vibram’s FiveFingers. According to Noland, her new set of barefoot running shoes has given her the ability to correct her form. Dealing with constant leg pain, Noland learned how to run over a six-week period.  "Before, I was a heel-striker," she said. "That's why I was getting injured so much.

Barefoot running is a new form of athleticism, which has captured the attention of many. If you have any concerns or questions about barefoot running  Dr. Bruce Theall of Gentle Touch Foot Care is able to help.

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 because 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 foot and ankle is reduced, which 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 with shoes to running without shoes. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increase the distance each time. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.

If you have any questions, visit our video library or please feel free to contact our office which is located in East Orange, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot ankle injuries.