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Barefoot Running – the new trend

An article in this weekend’s “Good Weekend” debated the emerging trend of barefoot running.  Barefoot running has been around for decades (even centuries, didn’t we all do it as kids?) but has gained popularity in recent years with many “experts” now instructing sessions on how to run barefoot.  As its name suggests the method involves running without shoes, as done by the extremists, but many runners prefer to don “barefoot-inspired” shoes marketed by the large sports shoes companies.

The theory behind barefoot running is to get back to nature, by increasing sensitivity and strength in the foot and adopting a more natural running style without the support (some would say over-support) of a running shoe.

Reportedly 60% of recreational runners suffer from injury each year, a figure which has not decreased over the past 40 years despite all the R&D invested in running shoes.  Many barefoot runners claim their injuries have reduced or been totally eliminated since shedding their running shoes further promoting the barefoot running movement.

But before you discard your runners ask yourself the following questions as it may not be for everyone.

  • Do you get injured running in your shoes?
  • Have you got an appropriate surface such as an oval near by?
  • Are you a frequent runner?
  • Are you in a desk-job and therefore have weak glut muscles?
  • Have you been told by a physio, podiatrist or exercise physiologist that you have poor stability and poor biomechanics?