Benefits Of Barefoot Running

The Barefoot Argument

Podiatry and healthcare have evolved over years and years of research and advancements in technology.

As with anything, there are ‘fads’ in the health and fitness industries. Many years ago before I was studying to be a podiatrist I remember ‘barefoot running’ was the Answer to all of your aches and pains. This was made popular by a guy name Chris McDougall who wrote a book called ‘Born to Run’. The book highlighted the Tarahumara Native Mexican tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons. After being repeatedly injured as a runner himself, McDougall was amazed at the tribe’s ability to run ultra distances (over 100 miles) at incredible speeds, without getting the routine injuries of most American runners would get.

The podiatrists in America at the time did not like the idea of this. Every man and his dog decided to start running barefoot. It was a disaster, people were getting injured just as much, if not more from barefoot running.

So you’re expecting me to say that being barefoot is silly. Well no, I actually think people were meant to be barefoot or at least wearing shoes shaped like your feet.

Below is a picture of the world’s first ‘leather shoe’. This was made over 5000 years ago. They are shaped like your feet, nice and wide at the toes. Nowadays, one of the causes of many foot problems is tight, stiff shoes.

The human foot comprises of 25% of the bodies muscles, has 26 bones and 33 joints. It was made to be mobile.

Spending years in traditional footwear with built up arch support, thick cushioning and a narrow toe box changes the structure of our feet and causes them to become stiff and weak. A big part of the barefoot solution to resolving foot problems and preventing them in future is switching to barefoot footwear that lets your feet become mobile and strong again.

Now am I saying go out and go barefoot? No, not necessarily! I think strengthening your feet is always going to beneficial. However, even if you don’t have pain you should work on at least strengthening your feet and keeping them mobile. If you don’t go barefoot that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get injured and vice versa.

There are many applications where I believe being barefoot would be awesome! How good would it be to walk around the office with no shoes on! But with our culture, it wouldn’t be seen as acceptable.

There are applications where I wouldn’t think about going barefoot. I wouldn’t run around the basketball court etc without shoes on if you’re a high-level player.

I think what we can learn is that barefoot has plenty of benefits. It may not be for everyone because of the modern world but it definitely forces us to change the way we look at our feet and look after them.

What our clients are saying about us

Bree BrittBree Britt
05:41 22 May 24
Mehar was fabulous! Not only was she warm, welcoming and funny, but professional and thorough.From the moment I walked in I felt well supported. She was able to identify what was going on, factoring in older ailments, and provide me with a treatment plan and options.Her focus was on sustainable changes and support moving forward, and I had a written plan and clear explanations and clarifications on everything. I never felt like she was encouraging me to need to come back unnecessarily.It took a few visits, and each time was met with the same warmth and professionalism. I got consistent progress and feel so much better now, even though it's a few months on from when I last saw her.It's very clear she is wonderful at what she does, thinks about the whole person and I would definitely recommend her to others considering needing podiatry support.
Rose StewartRose Stewart
02:32 14 May 24
The whole client therapist experience has been amazing. My Myotherapist provided me with a detailed plan to ensure my progress to meet my goals as well as addressing my issues of pain.Each follow up session is reviewed, discussed and any changes added/deleted or modified.The timely reminders and follow up from the clinic and experience with the Client Experience Officers have been always polite and friendly.
Patrick MonahanPatrick Monahan
00:37 13 May 24
Mehar Sandhu has been an absolute delight. She is very professional in her treatment and most personable and friendly to deal with.
Yolanda OppyYolanda Oppy
03:13 10 May 24
Ezyk ArtistEzyk Artist
00:07 19 Apr 24
I've been coming here exclusively since my first consultation. I've had constant shoulder and arm pain from my line of work; the exercises my physio, Carina provided are easy to remember, not time consuming and super effective!Bonus: the space feels super clean and calming - highly recommend coming here
Natasha KhongNatasha Khong
23:58 22 Mar 24
I had a great experience here. The gym was well equipped and the atmosphere of the clinic was amazing. I had Carina, who was very knowledgeable about my injury and helped construct a great solution plan! Her manner was beautiful and she had great energy. Definitely recommend!
Annabel ChandlerAnnabel Chandler
20:28 14 Mar 24
I’ve been seeing Talia for a few weeks now for treatment on my shoulder bursitis. From day 1 she was great! She explained everything about my condition to me and what she wanted to do which helped me visualise my own recovery. Could not recommend her enough.
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