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Is Barefoot Running Leading To An Injury “Epidemic”?

It depends who you ask.

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Some argue barefoot running isn't good for you. Photo: Barefooted.com

It depends who you ask.

According to an article posted on The Independent’s Web site, the recent popularity of barefoot running, thanks in part to Christopher McDougall’s bestseller, “Born to Run”, is creating a rise in foot-related injuries.

Apparently, American podiatrists and running clinics are reporting a “stark influx” of injuries due to the barefoot trend.

However, Men’s Health magazine writes that these injuries are most likely instead caused by weak feet and poor form.

Read the piece that started this debate: Matt Fitzgerald’s The Barefoot Running Injury Epidemic

Robert Gotlin, director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City says it all comes down to biomechanics. When you are wearing shoes, the foot tends to land on the heel, whereas when going barefoot, the foot lands closer to the front.

In a news release last year, Gotlin said, “This changes the impact of force on the foot and the lower extremities. As such, when you land on your forefoot, the force upon the body is reduced significantly.”

Therefore, runners going sans shoes or wearing a minimalist type of shoe need to change their form.

For More: The Independent