Bottom line, barefoot running requires a radical change in the way your feet touch the ground. Can “old dogs” be taught new tricks?
An article in SCIENCE DIGEST reports new revelations about one of the hottest athletic trends, and we quote…
“In recent years there has been an explosion in barefoot running, as well as the purchase and use of ‘minimalist’ running shoes that more closely resemble barefoot running by encouraging the balls of the feet, between the arch and toes, to hit the pavement first.
A new study found that a significant number of experienced runners, age 30 and older (40 percent of men and 20 percent of women), maintained a heel-first running pattern – which naturally occurs when wearing a shoe with an elevated heel – when running without shoes.”
What this means is exposure to a greater risk for injury. Back when Vibram came out with their “FiveFingers” shoe that simulates barefoot running, the company claimed their product actually strengthened muscles and reduced the incidence of injuries from running.
In May of 2014, an article in the WASHINGTON POST revealed that Vibram was setting aside money for a class action suit against it for advertising falsely that the shoes were good for you. Indeed, shortly after, there was a settlement, for just under $4 million.
The controversy continues, but the consensus is, try barefoot running and see if it works for you, but get trained in the techniques required to avoid injury and get the most out of it. Otherwise, you could be relegated to the hobbling lane.