Minimalist Shoes Helps Running Enthusiast with Footing

ERIN McCRACKEN / COURIER & PRESSJeff Williams, a minimalist runner, runs along trails at Angel Mounds on May 30.$RETURN$$RETURN$ERIN MCCRACKEN / Scripps newspapersJeff Williams, a minimalist runner, is training for an 100 mile race in Alabama in November and typically logs 45 to 65 miles a week. Williams says minimalist running has helped get rid of some aches and pains he regularly had when he ran with a more cushioned shoe.$RETURN$$RETURN$Former competitive running enthusiast Jeff Williams struggles to transition back into running. Williams took a 15 year absence from running. “I realized very quickly that something had to change. When I started, my knees were consistently bothering me a lot, said Williams.”

Williams then discovered minimalist or barefoot running, in a book he read; and it changed everything. “I was pretty intrigued by it and decided to try it out,” said Williams, who runs 45 to 65 miles a week in minimalist running shoes. With the help of minimalist running shoes, runners land on the front or balls of the foot while a ‘normal-shoed’ runner usually lands on the heels of his or her feet.   

Allowing your body time to adjust properly to barefoot running is essential, and part of this preventative care involves talking to a chiropodist like Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Cohen can advise you on a running regimen, as well as provide information on techniques of barefoot running to help avoid foot pain, heel pain, and injury.

Barefoot Running

Barefoot running is a fairly popular trend in the running world. More than just simply ‘running without shoes,” barefoot running affects the way your feet hit the ground and your overall posture. Barefoot runners land on the front part of their feet as opposed to those who wear shoes, who usually strike their heel as they hit the ground.

Barefoot running contains many advantages, including:

· A lower risk for ankle and foot injuries
· Improvement in balance and body  posture
· Strengthens muscles in the lower legs, ankles and feet that are not normally worked when wearing shoes

There are also disadvantages to barefoot running, which include:

· Lack of shoes increases the risk of incurring blisters, scrapes, bruises and cuts
· Risk of Achilles tendonitis as a result of landing on the front of your feet constantly
· Needing time and transition to adjust as the switch cannot be automatic

Start on even, flat surfaces and consider investing in minimalist running shoes. Minimalist running shoes provide the ‘feel’ of barefoot running while affording the same protection you can get for wearing shoes. Barefoot running can be safe and enjoyable with the proper planning and transition.

Read the full article on Barefoot Running.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Saginaw, MI and Essexville, MI.  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.