Do you like running? Surely you have heard about barefoot running. Join our discussion about its pros and cons and tell us if you like this trend.
Is barefoot running any good?
Running is a healthy training method beneficial for your legs and lungs. People are increasingly aware or the virtues of running in particular and a way to give balance to our lives. Running is cool. But how should we run? Is using shoes good or should we run barefoot?
For centuries humans ran without shoes or any other kind of protection. The human body is prepared to run long distances. The homo sapiens before developing sophisticated weapons and traps use to hunt preys simply by chasing and extenuating them before a final attack. Footwear was introduced to provide traction, warmth and protect the soles of the feet.
Following the launch of the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall lots of runner have decided to embrace this “new trend” of barefoot running or minimalist running. McDougall studied the Tarahumara, a tribe living in the Mexican state of Chihuahua who had a legendary ability to run extreme distances without getting injured. He found out that to a great extent the key for their extraordinary running skill was linked to not using shoes. However there is much controversy about McDougall's finding and the way in which the trend is spreading.
Pros of barefoot running
There is no conclusive scientific evidence showing that the use of modern sport shoes and orthotics has diminished the number of injuries in runners. Some claim that, on the contrary, shoes when used without care can cause problems for runners.
The use of shoes for running has been promoted strongly by the marketing of sportswear companies. Some of the reasons why barefoot running may be considered best are:
- It contributes to strengthen the arch musculature
- Shoe weight changes biomechanics in our feet
- The lateral heel counter creates a pronatory whip
- The upper shoe interferes with normal toe spread
- Shoes encourage fungal infections (the sun kills the fungus)
- The sole of the shoes reduces your body awareness of the forces applied at heel strike
- Cheaper running bare shoes
Cons of barefoot running
However, support for barefoot running is not unanimous. In fact most athletes, including professionals who are advised by physiotherapists and orthopaedic doctors still use shoes. Some shoes are actually designed to reinforce some parts of your feet and they help prevent ankle twists, absorb shocks and improve control of your foot. Arguments against barefoot running:
- The fact that some shoes are not apt for running and could cause harm does not mean that all shoes are bad.
- Not everyone is ready for barefoot running.
- It requires a period of adaptation. Those who are unaccustomed barefoot running can suffer strain on muscles and tendons and even get injuries.
- It is not seem that barefoot running makes you run faster.
- Some surfaces may make barefoot running painful and dangerous. Hot asphalt, broken glass, animals excrements are often to be found when we run in the street.
Check out these videos providing alternative views on how to run:
What do you think? Is barefoot running healty or risky? Is it convenient?
Check out this infographic with 86 virtues of running:
If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option.
Barefoot running: is it really that good or just a fad?
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