There is no question that after a long day at work or play we all enjoy removing our shoes and getting a little air for our feet. The issue is how far should that barefoot thing really go. Walking around our homes on our soft carpet for an hour or two in the evening is one thing and going for a jog is something altogether different.
When to Consider Barefoot Running
The barefoot running crowd has made a few appearances in the mainstream over the past 50 years. The movement never really gets a lot of traction amongst the “normal” folks out there. Running or hiking barefoot is really something designed for an athlete who is close to being in “perfect” shape. It is not something for those of us who are maybe a few (or more) pounds overweight, or for those of us who haven’t run in a few years and want to get back into it, or for those of us who are running a little but doing more lower impact exercise or who just quite frankly don’t have a body made for marathons.
Is Barefoot Running For You?
The vast majority of patients I see on a daily basis should run from the idea of being barefoot. If you have foot pain of any kind you probably need to be looking for a more stable and firm shoe rather than looking to get rid of your shoes. The most recent excitement about barefoot running with a variety of new shoes that were closer to socks than shoes has mostly died out again due to more injuries than success with the attempts.
So if you are running 25 miles or more a week and want to try barefoot running my only advice is to be careful, start slow, and get some good coaching if you need to change to new running style. For the rest of us who are just trying to stay in shape and enjoy running on a more recreational basis, stick with a good stable running shoe and even consider a good orthotic to go with it and enjoy this link to another attempt to protect those feet while running around without shoes on.