Categorized | Featured, Health

Running barefoot better than using running shoes

Updated: Jan 19, 2010

barefeet 150x150 Running barefoot better than using running shoes health featured A new study suggests that running shoes might actually exert tension which can damage your knees, hips and ankles, more so than walking with high heels!

A new study by D. Casey Kerrigan aiming to “determine the effect of modern-day running shoes on lower extremity joint torques during running” appeared in the December issue of PM&R Journal.  The conclusion of the study was that running shoes exerted more stress on knee, hips and ankle joints compared to running barefoot or even walking with high heels.

“Remarkably, the effect of running shoes on knee joint torques during running (36%-38% increase) that the authors observed here is even greater than the effect that was reported earlier of high-heeled shoes during walking (20%-26% increase). Considering that lower extremity joint loading is of a significantly greater magnitude during running than is experienced during walking, the current findings indeed represent substantial biomechanical changes.”

To me these findings are quite shocking since I was under, what seems to be false, impression that running shoes gave me better support and exerted less tension to the joints than running barefoot.  Running barefoot is not really a suitable alternative to me though, since it would probably hurt and leave me with quite the rough skin under my feet.  But it seems running shoe designers have a job to do!

Please start making running shoes which simulates the natural act of running barefoot, because I really enjoy running.

Update:

barefoot running shoes 150x150 Running barefoot better than using running shoes health featured I was just informed me about a web page called Barefootrunningshoes which serves as “an information hub on many of the popular barefoot running shoes that are currently available as well as related products and accessories”. Could be helpful if you’d like to get shoes which resembles that of running barefoot.  Thanks Kate!

[PM&R Journal via Sciencedaily]

Kerrigan, D. C., Franz, J. R., Keenan, G. S., Dicharry, J., Della Croce, U., & Wilder, R. P. (2009). The effect of running shoes on lower extremity joint torques. PM & R : The Journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation, 1(12), 1058-63. Retrieved January 19, 2010, from http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/1934-1482/PIIS1934148209013677.pdf


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2 Responses to “Running barefoot better than using running shoes”

  1. Hans Rippel says:

    This is surprising to me too. Running barefoot really only works on the beach for me. I wouldn't want to run on dirt roads barefoot. As for most running shoes, most do have the same basic design, maybe I give those Barefoot running shoes a try. Curious to see what those feel like.

  2. Here's a longer post on this in Sciencedaily. Barefoot running has actually also been mentioned in Reuters. I thought I couldn't run barefoot, but according to this article:
    "Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world's hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain. All you need is a few calluses to avoid roughing up the skin of the foot. Further, it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes."

    Well, now I guess my only argument for not running barefoot is that it will look weird :)

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/1001

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