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1266 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Jul 16, 2012 11:32 AM by rcuriel
Running Aficionado Pro 188 posts since
Jun 7, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 14, 2012 7:37 AM

Is Barefoot Running Dangerous? Or It Can Actually Help Avoid Running Injuries?

For many runners, up until recently, choosing the correct footwear would be essential to their training. This does not mean, however, that today’s athletes in training have taken to wearing any old shoe whilst jogging or sprinting; rather many have eschewed footwear altogether and taken up barefoot running. Proponents of this technique have stated it is the way that humans are meant to run and, as such, this style is much healthier and more beneficial for them. Yet, the question remains, is there any truth to this? Or, as the naysayers state, can barefoot running actually cause harm and injury to its practitioners? >>> Read more

Marathon Running

  • domski412 Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 15, 2012

    Yes, in my opinion I think it's quite dangerous to run on barefoot. It would be much safer if you would, atleast, wear barefoot running shoes/minimalist shoes since these shoes can totally emulate the feeling of being bareftoot.


    Hope this helps.


    Dominic Smith

  • Haselsmasher Legend 538 posts since
    May 25, 2009

    domski412 wrote:


    ....... these shoes can totally emulate the feeling of being bareftoot.


    Hope this helps.


    Dominic Smith


    I disagree.  The only thing that gives one a true barefoot experience is to really be barefoot.  Any covering on the foot, no matter how thin, changes what the foot can feel.  I'm not saying minimalist shoes are bad - in fact, on the contrary.  I run in "minimal"/minimalist shoes myself.  I'm a huge proponent of them.  But you will learn things about your running and running form when barefoot that I don't believe any "barefoot shoe" can enable.


    And while I'm at it, the danger of being barefoot is way overblown.  Most non-barefooters think of 1) syringes and 2) glass.  Re:  Syringes - have you ever needed to pull a syringe out of your running shoe?  I haven't.  (But I'll admit I live in a place where we don't have that on the ground.)  Re:  Glass.  Virtually all barefoot runners report this is not an issue.  First, one learns to use their eyes to look at the terrain ahead and people simply step around it.  Second, if you do step on glass, as long as the skin of your feet is conditioned and you remain relaxed more often than not there is no puncture.  Hard core barefoot runners talk of needing to use tweezers to remove something from their foot maybe 1-2 times per year - very low and minor incident rate.



    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • rcuriel Pro 178 posts since
    Mar 2, 2011

    I'm going to agree with Jim.  Having done the minimalist running for awhile now and doing a little bit of barefoot there is a difference. 


    As far as injuries, your feet are full of muscles, tendons, cartilage and bones.  All of these need to be strengthened to handle the loads and stresses that you're going to place on them.  This is true whether you wear shoes, minimalist or conventional, or go barefoot.  Running barefoot or minimalist is going to place added stresses on the foot, ankle and calves.  Running in conventional shoes with a heel strike will put more stress on your knees, hips and back.

    You can run with a forefoot strike in shoes, most of your top flight runners will do this.


    Success or failure going to barefoot/minimalist shoes will depend on lot on your current running style and patience.  The biggest mistake is too much too soon.  I personally think it is worth it, but then I have very little cartilage in my knees.  Running with little footwear forces me to run with proper style.  I am not a patient person and I've had quite a few set backs, some related to minimalist wear and some to bad luck.  But, I enjoy running again and think the "barefoot" style has made it possible.


    Analyze what you want and then figure out how to get there.



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