Barefoot Running: Review of the History of the Barefoot Movement by The Gait Guys
The Gait Guys recently re-posted one of their original articles, and it occurred at the beginning of the barefoot running trend. As you'll read in the article, barefoot running had advocates decades before the "vibram five-finger movement." There are many reasons for this as barefoot running has been shown to improve sensory feedback in the feet and foot intrinsic muscle control. There have been some studies that have shown decreased force translation into the lower extremity due to the development of a more efficient gait pattern. Since this article was written, quite a bit more research has been done on the topic. As you may be aware, while barefoot running may be an excellent form of running for some, it is not true for others. Some are born with anatomical foot abnormalities that make barefoot running unrealistic. With a slight change in foot structure, the majority of the force goes through one area which can lead to fractures or other overuse injuries. Even so, the article is definitely worth reading as it details how humans have used their feet over time and the response the neurological and dermatological systems have when exposed to the ground without a medium.
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