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Should I switch to barefoot running?

There has been so much in the press & literature regarding this over the last few months & years, but is is actually the right thing to do?

Our myth buster post on Monday would suggest not.

The question would be - do you normally heel strike or forefoot strike, i.e. do you normally land on your heel or ball of foot first when you run?

If you already land on the ball of your foot, then maybe barefoot running is worth a try for you, because you are essentially not changing the biomechanics of your running style.

If you are a rearfoot runner, then changing to barefoot running is a significant change to your running style & one that we wouldn't advise.

Essentially, the body doesn't like change, and the old mantra of 'if it isn't broken, don't change it', usually applies. The one caveat to this would be if your existing heel strike running action is causing you a injury, then it may be that you need to change your running style.

However, it is always advisable to have an assessment with a Physiotherapist or Podiatrist first as changing something without knowing why could make things worse.

In addition to potential injury, barefoot running or forefoot strike has been shown in the literature to have the following issues - it is not more economical, it is unlikely to improve performance, it doesn't reduce running injury risk, plus it significantly increases load on the calf & achilles.

Want to know more? 

Contact Harbourside Physiotherapy today to get yourself booked in for an assessment.

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