Dare to go bare (foot); and choosing the right physiotherapist for you
We’ve found the best excuse to set your feet free this summer
IF YOU NEED a reason to throw off your shoes and run barefoot on freshly cut grass or silky sand now that summer’s here, researchers from Brazil1 have discovered a good one: a less injury-prone running style. A group of runners had their gait analysed before and after a 16-week progressive barefootrunning programme. The training resulted in lower impact forces and improved shock attenuation, as well as reduced activation in four lower-leg muscles (high levels of muscle activation are associated with greater injury risk). These benefits were demonstrable whether the runners were barefoot or shod when tested, suggesting that going shoeless now and again has value even if you have no intention of becoming a full-time barefooter.
ON YOUR FEET! Take off your shoes and run on a soft surface: it can lower your risk of injury and it feels great.