United Kingdom professor Dr. Mick Wilkinson of Northumbria University in New Castle gave his endorsement to barefoot running a few weeks ago, telling new runners it might be best for them to start barefoot.
Dr. Wilkinson completed the Great North Run without shoes in 2011. When running barefoot; the front of the foot strikes the ground first. When it comes to sneakers, the heel hits the ground first. Wilkinson encourages starting off slowly or with minimalist shoes, but claimed you should ignore the urge to run on grass and start on hard surfaces immediately.
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.
-When running barefoot 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.
It’s best to slowly transition from running shoes to barefoot running. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increasing the distance, or consider minimalist running shoes.
Read the full article on Barefoot Running.