Running barefoot: is it recommended?
One of the most important debates in running is whether or not running barefoot is beneficial.
While some experts suggest it is the most natural method and a way to prevent and improve some injuries, others argue that it can be dangerous for the athlete.
Does running without shoes really bring benefits? Has this fact become a fashion or is it a necessity? Read on to find out.
What does science say about running barefoot?
A report from Sport Science confirms that running barefoot reduces the risk of an ankle sprain, because when we do this activity with shoes, the sensations related to the position of the foot are reduced.
On the other hand, according to this study, it is also a good method for athletes who usually suffer from plantar fasciitis. Wearing shoes reduces the foot's natural absorbency, plus we don't properly control the amount of forces that are generated on each step. As a result, greater muscle strain occurs.
Now, after reading all these affirmations, we must bear in mind that this study was conducted on a treadmill.
Other research confirms that choosing this simple technique causes the runner to land with the forefoot, thus avoiding the entry of the heel, which is very common among runners.
Regarding the disadvantages of running barefoot, greater possibilities of injury to the Achilles tendon and calf were revealed.
An alternative to running barefoot
Currently, various sports brands are interested in incorporating the latest technology into their running shoe models in order to achieve more efficient running and avoid some common problems.
However, we cannot deny that running barefoot provides certain advantages to the athlete. Of course, you have to be careful when starting this practice. In addition, we must also bear in mind that there are some drawbacks.
With summer coming, you can try to run for a few minutes without shoes on the beach. Of course, do this in the area where the ground is compacted. Ideally, you should not exceed kilometers, especially if you are not used to it.
On the other hand, to strengthen the muscles of the foot, it is not necessary to run barefoot, you can choose to include a series of specific exercises in your training routine.
In general, science has shown some benefits of running barefoot, but it also points to some disadvantages.
In the event that an athlete wishes to start this way or enter some sessions without using shoes, it is necessary that they do so gradually. Otherwise, you can do more harm than good.
It is usually recommended for people who tend to have plantar fasciitis, however, be aware that a greater load is created in the Achilles and calf tendons.
To strengthen the muscles of the foot, we can resort to a series of specific exercises. The most reasonable thing is to seek advice from a professional trainer.