First News

BAREFOOT BETTER?

- By Eddie de Oliveira

A NEW study says that modern running shoes are actually doing more harm than good.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, suggests we might all be better off running barefoot rather than using certain types of trainer. It concludes that we were much less likely to get hurt before cushioned running shoes became all the rage.

Led by Dr Peter Francis of Leeds Beckett University, the study found that a staggering 35-50% of runners are injured at any one time.

The five most common injuries all take place below the knee. According to Dr Francis, that’s because shoes have changed the way we move and have developed more quickly than humans have evolved. Since the 1970s, a lot of running shoes include cushioning and support for our foot’s arch, which the new study says can lead to a “disconnect” between our feet and our brain, which puts us at risk of injury.

Running barefoot could be the way we reduce getting hurt. But, of course, that isn’t always possible or safe. So the study recommends that, for those who cannot run barefoot, “minimalist shoes” (basic ones) may help to rebuild strength in the areas of the foot that barefoot runners would use.

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