Ditch Your Running Shoes For Bare Feet?!

Runners who prefer going barefoot are less likely to experience serious injury than their shod peers, according to new Harvard research. Researchers found that barefoot runners land on the balls or middle of their feet first, which causes virtually no impact collision. Runners wearing shoes hold their feet differently, and their heels tend to hit the ground first. “Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain. All you need is a few calluses to avoid roughing up the skin of the foot,” said Daniel Lieberman, one of the researchers. He and his colleagues studied runners who always wore running shoes and runners without shoes. They found that the barefoot runners had a springier step and used their calf and foot muscles more efficiently. But don’t abandon your running shoes just yet. The transition has to be gradual in order to strengthen the calf and foot muscles. Evolution is in the barefoot runner’s favor though, since humans have been running long-distance for millions of years. The modern running shoe wasn’t even available until the 1970s. [Reuters]