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Barefoot Style Running Linked to Foot Injuries

By Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS | Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Barefoot Style Running Linked to Foot InjuriesRunning in minimalist shoes without proper precautions can lead to foot pain and injuries. Read on for tips to prevent the downsides of minimalist shoes.

The weather is finally starting to cool down in South Florida. The dreaded long hot days of the summer are at an end for at least a few months, and the short evenings that grace us for the fall are likely to stay rather cool as we move into the last several weeks of the year.

This cool weather will encourage many people to start exercising more, as the 90-degree heat will cause many people to abandon their running plans for a dip in the pool or an afternoon in the A.C. If you are thinking of gearing up for the winter with a new pair of running shoes, be careful. While all the craze in many running communities, the minimalist style shoes that are so popular right now can actually cause some damage to your feet.

The Risk of Injury

There is a risk of injury in just about any activity, and running is no exception. As a high-impact activity, running causes you to strike the ground with your foot in a sometimes harsh way. Running on the pavement just makes the intensity of this activity worse.

Many running shoes are loaded with padding to reduce foot pain during your run, but in recent years a movement has shifted many runners away from the highly padded “safety first” shoe and into a more sleek and fashionable minimalist design. The design is said to mimic the barefoot, offering basic protection while allowing the foot to strike the ground in a more natural way, thus improving running form.

If you are going to run in minimalist shoes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Wear socks with added cushioning around the heel and toes to reduce impact
  • Run on grass or sand
  • Focus on your form and ease into them

There are many who will attest to the benefits of minimalist shoes, but before you don a pair for a long run, give them a try on a short trail somewhere. Striking the ground with your heel in one of these non-cushioned shoes may cause severe discomfort or even injury. If you are going to run in minimalist shoes, it is essential that you learn proper form first and that you are comfortable landing on your toes to dissipate the impact of your foot hitting the ground.

Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS

Known for his expertise in thorough diagnostic testing and a steady surgical hand, Jason M. Gold, DPM, is a leader in modern foot and ankle care and sports medicine. He’s one of a handful of doctors who’s board certified in foot and ankle surgery in Palm Beach County. Dr. Jason Gold cares for patients at Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center, a state-of-the-art practice with locations in Boca Raton and Boynton, Florida.

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus , DPM - Podiatrist in Boca Raton, FL

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus is a foot, ankle, and leg vein specialist practicing in South Florida. She is considered a leader and innovator for various procedures in her field, including fat pad and vein care. Dr. Schoenhaus grew up in southern New Jersey and she considers herself a true Philly girl. After graduating from the University of Michigan, having studied kinesiology and human movement, she went to Temple University in Philadelphia where she got her doctorate.

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