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Posts for tag: Barefoot running

The 37th annual Turkey Day run is coming up next week and Dr. Brown and family will be participating again. Dr. Brown had a nice article come out last year on Barefoot running. Dr. Brown has recently over the past few years adopted the barefoot running technique. He has run in the past few Cooper River Bridge Runs as well as the previous Turkey Day run. Barefoot running is not for everyone but has worked for Dr. Brown as well as a select group of our patients. Please take a look at the two links below. The first link is the article last year about Dr. Brown and barefoot running and the second link is information about the Turkey Day Run next week.



Barefoot running has become more popular over the past several years and much controversy exists about this style of running. Dr. Brown and Dr. Saffer are both avid runners but actually have completely different foot types and running styles.  Dr. Brown is an experienced runner and has a normal arch type which allows him to withstand the barefoot running technique. Dr. Brown suffered from a nagging foot injury for the past several years and slowly adopted the barefoot running technique which eventually resolved his foot pain. Dr. Brown has completed a full Marathon in the past with running shoes but now runs 5/10K running barefoot. Most recenlty Dr. Brown ran the Cooper River Bridge 2013 and Turkey Day run 2013 Barefoot.

Dr. Saffer on the other hand is an experience runner as well but has a flexible flatfoot (No arch at all). This foot type for Dr. Saffer does not allow him to tolerate barefoot running for long distances. Dr. Saffer uses a custom foot orthotic along with a anti-pronation motion control running shoe. Using a custom foot orthotic, anti-pronation running shoe, and adopting chi-running style has allowed Dr. Saffer to slowly go from 5K/10K runs to currently training for a 1/2 Marathon.

One important fact to consider is as we age and lose flexibility and the ability to compensate for our biomechanical imbalances, barefoot running may not be advisable. If you are considering  running barefoot we encourage you to have your feet evaluated by our foot specialists. Dr. Brown and Dr. Saffer are not only trained Sports Medicine Specialists of the foot but also have experience with running and know what it takes to keep you active.

Barefoot running has become more popular over the past few years. As Sports medicine Podiatrist and having experience in running we do not recommend barefoot running to beginner runners or runners who are restarting an exercise program after a layoff. The reason is that there could be an increase risk of injury at a time when their body is not quite ready for the extra stress it will place on the feet.  Also keep in mind that running barefoot increases your risk for stepping on foreign objects such as glass.

For more experienced runners barefoot running can be a reasonable way to train as long as it is on a safe surface. Runners who are more experienced in distance running, younger, of normal body weight, and are frequently barefoot while walking are more likely to tolerate barefoot running.  Certain areas of the body appear to have decreased stress in response to barefoot running while others have increased stress. One of the differences between barefoot running and traditional running shoes is that you land more on your forefoot with barefoot running. Landing on the forefoot creates decreased stress to the knee however there is increased stress to the ankle, Achilles, and metatarsals.

As the years go on more studies will enable us to look at the risks and benefits of barefoot running and new running techniques. For more on training for the Cooper River bridge run please refer to our Bridge run foot injury prevention series blog at