My Advice for Barefoot Running Injury

There is a lot of hype and rhetoric going around about the benefits of barefoot running in reducing the risk of getting a running injury. Nothing could be further from the truth. See these links:

The Barefoot Running Injury Epidemic
Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?
“Top of Foot Pain” from Barefoot Running
Why are barefoot runners getting so many injuries?

There is no doubt that you can read anecdotes from barefoot runners who are getting less injuries now compared to what they got before they started barefoot running. But there is also the anecdotes from those who have experienced the opposite. Barefoot running is not all that it is claimed to be. If it was what was claimed, then why are there so many getting hurt by it?

If you want to give it a go, then it can be done like the purists in barefoot or with a barefoot running shoe (which sounds a bit odd). The key thing is to transition extremely slowly from shod running to barefoot. It is probably advisable to spend a lot of time barefoot around the home, then progress to short then longer walks barefoot; then a few short runs over a period of weeks and gradually progress from there.

Any sign of injury needs to be treated with cutting back on the barefoot running and then using strategies like ice therapy until it settles, before commencing a gradual build up in the barefoot running.

As always, the advice of a health professional is always recommended.