Is Barefoot Running Leading To An Injury “Epidemic”?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 24, 2011
  • Updated Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:46 AM UTC
Some argue barefoot running is leading to a rise in injury. Photo:

Some argue barefoot running isn't good for you. Photo:

It depends who you ask.

According to an article posted on The Independent’s Web site, the recent popularity of barefoot running, thanks in part to Christopher McDougall’s bestseller, “Born to Run”, is creating a rise in foot-related injuries.

Apparently, American podiatrists and running clinics are reporting a “stark influx” of injuries due to the barefoot trend.

However, Men’s Health magazine writes that these injuries are most likely instead caused by weak feet and poor form.

Read the piece that started this debate: Matt Fitzgerald’s The Barefoot Running Injury Epidemic

Robert Gotlin, director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City says it all comes down to biomechanics. When you are wearing shoes, the foot tends to land on the heel, whereas when going barefoot, the foot lands closer to the front.

In a news release last year, Gotlin said, “This changes the impact of force on the foot and the lower extremities. As such, when you land on your forefoot, the force upon the body is reduced significantly.”

Therefore, runners going sans shoes or wearing a minimalist type of shoe need to change their form.

For More: The Independent

FILED UNDER: News / Running Form TAGS: / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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