Barefoot Running may increase Risk for Injury in Older Athletes
Recently there has been a trend in barefoot running and “minimalist” running shoes that resemble barefoot running, encouraging the balls of the feet to hit the ground first. A study conducted by orthopedic surgeon Scott Mullen from the University of Kansas, however, indicates that runners that are aged 30 and older may have trouble adapting to running barefoot. “The inability to adapt the foot strike to the change in shoe type may put these runners at increased risk of injury. Older runners should be cautious when transitioning to a more minimalist type of shoe,” stated Mullen. The study’s findings were presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and found that many experienced runners naturally ran heel-first.
Barefoot running has its own share of benefits and disadvantages. To learn more about this trend, consider speaking to Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, D.P.M. of the Mid-Michigan Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Cohen will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
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
If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices, located in Saginaw and Essexville, MI. We offer all the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies to meet your needs.