Is Barefoot Running a Bad Fad or Better Choice

Updated 8/3/2012

Patients that come in with tendonitis, both of the arch and the achilles and major symptoms seem to be overuse type injuries or lack of support type injuries.

Dr. Bob Baravarian, M.D.
Barefoot Running Bad or Fad - University Foot and Ankle Insititute - Los Angeles

There’s a new trend in the running world; running without shoes or wearing rubber shoes that look like feet. So it is just a fad or a better choice?

 

Many are convinced it’s better for their body to go barefoot.

 

Advocates claim kicking off their shoes or wearing these rubber feet to protect just their skin eases the impact on their joints and improves their speed.

 

But doctors said there’s no evidence of that and say the trend can cause injuries, especially for new runners, because your foot hits the ground differently.

 

“Stress fractures, because the bones that lead to the toes are getting too much strain,” said Dr. Bob Baravarian, UCLA Medical Center.

 

“Patients that come in with tendonitis, both of the arch and the achilles and major symptoms seem to be overuse type injuries or lack of support type injuries,’ he said.

 

“I’m running much more than I was before and painlessly and a little faster,” Joe Maller, barefoot runner said.

 

“You really do have to ease back certainly in distance and in pace and frequency while your body adjusts,” said Chris Hawson, another barefoot runner.

 

Experts said diabetics should avoid barefoot running because they often have decreased sensation in their feet, so they won’t be able to detect potential injuries.

 

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