Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Many injuries attributed to Barefoot Running

Dr. Amy Balettie

Dr. Amy Balettie with Foot Healers says she sees many injuries in barefoot runners. “The Masai of Africa run barefoot, but these people also are not obese, have a shorter lifespan, and don’t sit behind a desk all day,” she points out. “They are out working in their fields, using all their muscles.” In runners who have been running on the sides of roads on uneven surfaces and through trash, she sees cuts, fractures, strains, and tendonitis from lack of foot support. She reports that with most exercising patients, it’s not the shoe causing the problem, it’s the foot structure and not having it supported enough.

   Balettie says that there are some times when it is appropriate to go barefoot. Being barefoot is important in doing yoga, for instance, because you want to stretch all the toes and tendons without the restriction of shoes – but that’s in a controlled environment. It’s also generally okay to walk barefoot around the house, she says, except for diabetics or anyone who gets pain from going barefoot. Diabetics should always wear a supportive slipper or sandals in the house, something to cushion and protect the feet. And they should check their feet frequently. “Older diabetics who can’t see the bottoms of their feet often injure them and don’t know it. They shouldn’t be walking barefoot anywhere,” Balettie says.

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , | Leave a comment