Barefoot Running Devotees Donâ€™t Stop in the winter
For one group of Canadians, barefoot running is a year round sport, and that includes when there’s snow on the ground. According to this small but enthusiastic faction, barefoot running through the snow is effective because the motion creates a metabolic reaction in the feet, keeping them warm. Rod Begg, founder of the cold-weather marathon called the Winter Challenge, is one of these runners. “You could say we’re a fringe of a fringe,” he said. “Some use the word ‘crazy.’”
Barefoot running can be rewarding but should only be undertaken if you know what you’re doing. If you would like to take up this kind of exercise, talk to a podiatrist like Dr. Greg Khaimov of Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. Dr. Khaimov can teach you about the benefits of barefoot running and how to avoid getting injured.
The Impact of Barefoot Running
-Running without shoes changes the motion of your running, as most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet.
-Running barefoot requires a different way of running; the landing is done on the front part of the feet.
The Advantages of Barefoot Running
-When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the feet and ankle is reduced, this can reduce stress injuries.
-It strengthens muscles in the feet and ankles and the lower legs.
-Balance of the body is improved and there is a greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.
The Drawbacks of Barefoot Running
-No protection while running, makes it likely that runners will land on sharp objects and scrapes, bruises and cuts on the feet will result.
-Blisters may form.
-Possibility of plantar fascia problems.
-Risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.
So what can runners do to make barefoot running safe? It’s best to make a slow transition from running shoes to barefoot running. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increasing the distance. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.
Read more about Barefoot Running.