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Are Barefoot Running Shoes Good for Feet?

It has become one of the latest running crazes, but barefoot running shoes could easily cause an injury.

Researchers have found that runners who switched to barefoot running shoes too quickly had increased risk of injury.

To learn more, keep reading!

(picture by PremierFitnessCamp.com)

The researchers say the findings are concerning because barefoot running shoes are 15 percent of the running shoe market.

Advocates of barefoot running shoes claim that normal running  shoes constrict the feet and inhibit natural movement, making people vulnerable  to injuries and pain.

While the barefoot running shoes themselves may not be harmful, it is the transition from them to regular running shoes that is often the problem.

“Transitioning to minimalist shoes is definitely stressful to the bones,” said Sarah Ridge, lead author and assistant professor of exercise science at BYU. “You have to be careful in how you transition and most people don’t think about that. They just want to put the shoes on and go.”

The research, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, studied 36 runners for 10 weeks.

Each runner first had an MRI scan on their feet before the study period.

Half of the runners were then asked to gradually transition into five-finger barefoot running shoes while the other half continued to run in traditional running shoes.

At the end of the 10-week period of running, new MRIs revealed that those who had done more running in the barefoot running shoes had a greater number of injuries and inflammation.

“Injury occurs when the impact is coming too quickly or too powerfully and the bone doesn’t have a chance to properly remodel before impact reoccurs,” said Ridge.

Last year researchers warned that barefoot running shoes have led to a surge in injuries from pulled calf muscles to Achilles tendinitis, with some patients laid up for several months.

Foot specialists said many injuries resulted from switching from normal running shoes to barefoot too quickly.

Injuries can happen when people put too much pressure on their calf and foot muscles, or don’t shorten their stride and end up landing on their heel with no padding.

If you have foot pain, do not let it go untreated or it could very well get worse. Get your foot looked at today so that tomorrow is pain-free.

Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak make an appointment with a foot and ankle doctor about your foot and/or ankle needs.

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