Should I Run Barefoot?

barefoot runningWith the Popularity of ‘Barefoot’ and Minimal Shoes – Should You Try it?

Recently a patient came in to see me complaining of foot pain. During the health history I found out that he had been wearing ‘barefoot’ type running shoes for a few weeks (around the same time his pain developed). We did a thorough bio-mechanical assessment of his legs/feet and found that both feet were very flat. Because of his fallen arches he was overpronating (ankles buckling inward when walking/running).

This particular patient was actually putting himself at risk by wearing barefoot runners due to his poor foot/ankle mechanics. In fact – in order to correct the issue we made him custom foot orthotics to put into his running shoes.

Custom made foot orthotics toronto

So back to the question – Should you run Barefoot? Only if you have perfect lower limb mechanics. What does that mean? You should get assessed by a qualified health practitioner who has expertise in this area of the body. They can let you know if you’d be a good candidate.

Having practiced for over 10 years treating athletes and office workers in downtown Toronto I would estimate that only about 20% of the population have good bio-mechanics and could safely go with minimalist runners. If you would like to try out a pair – ease into them. If you regularly run 5-10 kms don’t run that far initially with the barefoot shoes. Try running for only 1km the first day and see how your body feels 24-48hrs after. From there you can increase the time you run with the shoes in small ‘steps’ – pun intended! 🙂

Jory Basso Triathlon RunningAs a side note – having completed a 4th knee surgery –  my surgeon and I have decided that my running career is over after competing in only one race – the GoodLife Toronto Half Marathon so this may be the last picture ever taken of me running 🙁

I will, however, continue to help Toronto runners and triathletes achieve their health and fitness goals. I am preparing quite a few for the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon and other upcoming races.

For anyone else like me who can’t run you may find comfort in this fascinating article: Were We Really Born to Run?

This post is also featured on The GoodLife Blog.

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Dr. Jory is on a never ending quest to acquire knowledge. His intellectual passions for science, health, astronomy, and evolution are balanced with physical passions of cycling, surfing, kayaking, and hiking.

His vision is to change the World through extra-ordinary science and health education. He believes that knowledge and understanding empowers individuals to make healthier decisions for themselves and the planet collectively. He aspires to be the next Bill Nye The Science Guy.

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