Despite all the concerns of walking and running outside without shoes, going barefoot offers many different benefits for your feet, especially at a young age. Children who go barefoot often will strengthen their feet, giving themselves more natural protection. The lower legs are also strengthened, leading to the lesser likelihood of physical injury. Going barefoot also “encourages a natural, healthy gait,” as well as helps us become hyper-aware of our environment. If you do plan on going barefoot, make sure that surfaces are safe and clear of any sharp objects.
Barefoot running is a fairly popular trend in the running world. More than just simply ‘running without shoes,” barefoot running affects the way your feet hit the ground and your overall posture. Barefoot runners land on the front part of their feet as opposed to those who wear shoes, who usually strike their heel as they hit the ground.
Barefoot running contains many advantages, including:
- A lower risk for ankle and foot injuries
- Improvement in balance and body posture
- Strengthens muscles in the lower legs, ankles and feet that are not normally worked when wearing shoes
There are also some disadvantages to barefoot running, which include:
- Lack of shoes increases the risk of incurring blisters, scrapes, bruises and cuts
- Risk of Achilles tendonitis as a result of landing on the front of your feet constantly
- Needing time and transition to adjust as the switch cannot be automatic
Start on even, flat surfaces and consider investing in minimalist running shoes. Minimalist running shoes provide the ‘feel’ of barefoot running while affording the same protection you get from wearing shoes. Barefoot running can be safe and enjoyable with the proper planning and transition.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Kingwood, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.