I’ve blogged before about approaching barefoot running with caution. It has been almost a year since we talked about it last, but remember that this new ‘craze’ is based on findings that indigenous groups of other countries, who have lived their whole life without shoes, have a lower incidence of some foot pathologies. The authors of these findings postulated this was due to stronger feet, that shoes weakened the muscles in your foot which led to problems. To my knowledge, there remains to be a proper long term evidence based study comparing minimalist running to that of normal athletic shoes. Even so, it is my opinion that minimalist shoes do have a place in the runner’s arsenal.
Shoes such as the Newton Terra Momentum offer the best of both worlds. Their lack of the complex support to the midfoot and forefoot, which can limit foot motion in traditional running shoes, make them ideal for the minimalist runner. They offer the protection to your feet while giving some support and allowing maximal movement to your foot. I may actually even recommend them to you depending on your foot structure. Remember that our office offers Gaitscan® technology to assess your foot structure and allow me to make recommendations.
It is important that I also remind you to never ‘over do it’. With any type of new footwear, it is best to ‘break them in’ by wearing them for a few hours a day and slowly working up to a full day or couple days a week. You shouldn’t run in these minimalist shoes every day, but rather use them occasionally for running or maybe on recovery days. It never hurts to bring your shoes with you on your next visit to Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists for assessment by a professional.
Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy, Austin!