Chiropodist - Cambridge
366 Hespeler Road Unit #12
Cambridge, Ontario N1R 6J6

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    Did you know that our ancestors were actually very strong runners? This is because homo sapiens, prior to the advent of weapons, had to chase their prey until the animal was too exhausted to continue running. And because the first running shoe did not come about until about 1890, we know that homo sapiens were definitely running barefoot. Because of this, many runners believe running is simply in our genes. This information has made runners ask the question, “why wear running shoes?” Just Google the subject of barefoot running and you will find thousands of accounts of runners whose knee hip and foot injuries were “cured” by switching out of shoe gear toward barefoot running.  However, studies also have shown that the biggest deterrent to trying barefoot running is fear of injury. So which is it? This week we will examine the science behind why barefoot running can be beneficial. Next week we will look at its cons!

The Benefits of Running Barefoot

  • Studies show runners land softer and more gently when running barefoot. This is because barefoot running is asscoatied with a shorter stride length, meaning the distance between two heel strikes of the same foot is shorter. This shorter stride length alters the impact of running and leads to reduced stress on the foot
  • Running barefoot seems to increase input to the neuromuscular system of the body. This ultimately means that runners who are running barefoot report more balance and less falls
  • Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that barefoot running does not result in fallen arches. In fact one study found that there was an increased arch height in subjects who had been running  barefoot for 3+ months
  • Hip and knee joints experience less abnormal rotation and motion when running barefoot, and this can reduce the risk of injury to these joints
  • There is less stress on the metatarsal bones of the feet when barefoot running, suggesting reduced forefoot pain  in runners who have had previous injury

So there you have it- the potential benefits of running barefoot. Don’t make your decision just yet though- stay tuned until next week when we discuss the cons of running without shoes. Questions? Give us a call at 519-624-4122.

Happy Spring!



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366 Hespeler Road
Cambridge, Ontario N1R 6J6

Chiropodist - Cambridge, Douglas C. Broad, D.Ch, 366 Hespeler Road, Cambridge Ontario, N1R 6J6 519-624-4122