Archive for Oct 2011

10.02.11

Curious about barefoot shoes?

Have you guys heard of barefoot running shoes? The Vibram brand (pictured), especially, seems to becoming more popular every day, so I thought I’d give you some information about them and whether or not you should wear them.

Barefoot shoes promote a different foot strike than a traditional running shoe. When wearing a traditional shoe, the runner will strike the ground first with their heel and roll forward onto their toes. With a barefoot shoe, the foot lands flat or with the ball of the foot first. If you go outside with no shoes on right now, your foot will naturally land flat or with the ball of your foot first.

People are wearing shoes that allow them to run in this “barefoot” style for several reasons. First, striking with the mid or forefoot is actually a way to run with lower impact, which may mean less knee, hip, or other injuries that are common to runners. Barefoot running is also more efficient, strengthens foot and ankle muscles, and allows the runner to have a better connection with their surroundings.

There are also risks that come with this new craze that you should be aware of if you want to try barefoot running. The sole of barefoot shoes is often extremely thin, so if you run over glass or a rock, your feet are going to be in trouble. It is extremely important to slowly transition into barefoot shoes, and I highly suggest finding a coach to teach you the proper way to run with a mid or forefoot strike. If you do too much too soon, it is easy to injure your Achilles tendon or even break your foot. Also, your calves will be extremely sore in the beginning (I found this out the hard way and could barely walk for 2 days!).

There are benefits to barefoot running, so if you are curious, just make sure you do it the proper way. If you aren’t interested in dedicating time to really working on changing the way you run, stick with your traditional shoes–they are comfortable, provide cushion, stabilize the foot, and there isn’t any great research yet that shows any real reason to switch to barefoot running!

Want more info? Check out this link: http://bit.ly/r8Nimo

Category: General |

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