For many runners, the natural motion of a forefoot strike is encouraged by running without shoes. However, for those who hit the ground with the heel first, barefoot running can cause strain on the achilles tendon. Thus, running without shoes is an example of a great type of exercise that may be beneficial for some, but harmful to others.
Specialists in orthopedics endorse a wide variety of running shoes which are designed to support the foot and ankle during activity. Barefoot runners claim that this extra support can actually weaken your joints, since the shoes are doing your body’s job. If you do choose to wear shoes, choosing a FiveFingers shoe available from Vibram, Nike, New Balance, or Saucony, is your best option.
As with any workout, you’ll need to learn the proper form for running sans shoes. If you have pain while running or have questions related to your joint and bone health, find a doctor near you and schedule an appointment.
To learn more about running barefoot and orthopedics, check out our additional orthopedics resources.