Our Silver Spring MD podiatrist has noticed an increasing trend in patients’ interest in barefoot running and minimalist shoes. While minimalist running is nothing new to the world of podiatry, it may be new to you. Our podiatrist in Silver Spring wants to take the chance to discuss the pros and cons of ditching your regular running shoes before you begin barefoot sprints.
It is challenging to offer a blanket statement of advice on the topic of barefoot running and minimalist shoes, because your physical abilities and podiatric needs are unique. Questions that our 5-star podiatrist may ask you to consider include:
The answers to these questions will be different for each patient, and the advice provided by your Silver Spring MD podiatrist likely will be, as well.
For instance, “pounding the pavement” may not be advised to you if you choose to run barefoot. Running on hard surfaces, without the extra absorption that regular running shoes provide, will likely add extra stress to your knees and joints. Many podiatrists report an increase in metatarsal stress fractures and Achilles tendon injuries when patients take up running barefoot. Additionally, our Silver Spring podiatrist stresses that you run a higher risk of sustaining an injury from cutting your feet on any number of hazards on the ground.
Barefoot running as a practice among elite athletes is not a new concept. It is not uncommon for highly skilled and experienced runners to train barefoot, often for short periods of time, to further strengthen and train the feet. Indeed, running barefoot tends to help break the habit of runners landing on their heels, because when you are barefoot you are more inclined to land on the balls of your feet.
However, what is important to keep in mind is that barefoot running for training purposes is often practiced or taught by trained professionals and takes place in a controlled environment. Also, these athletes eased into this genre of running. Our Silver Spring MD warns against any patient, regardless of ability, jumping into barefoot running. Your body will absolutely need adequate time to adjust, or else you run a high risk of sustaining an injury. Our Silver Spring MD podiatrist suggests that many patients may have heard about this technique as it trickled down from elite athletes trying to achieve optimal results. However, the same methods may not reap optimal results for everyone, especially those with less training and experience.
It may not be the case that running barefoot is the best answer to achieving your fitness goals. You may not need to throw out your shoes, but rather consider a shoe better suited for your feet specifically. If you need suggestions regarding what shoe will help to enhance your comfort and ability, consult with our Silver Spring MD podiatrist!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact The Podiatry Center, with a convenient podiatry office location near Silver Spring MD, by clicking here or by calling 301.656.6055.