To bare or not to bare? That is the question!
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It is muted that barefoot running is healthier and reduces the risks of chronic injuries, such as stress injuries caused by wearing running shoes. Apparently many runners have blamed an increase in running injuries on their shoes.
I grew up in Australia and spent much of my childhood barefoot. To top that, I used to dance and spent many an hour soaking my feet in mentholated spirits. As a result the soles of my feet are like rhinoceros skin and, yes, I can walk across pebbles on a beach (given a chance!) But I have to say, I don't think I could run barefoot. Not necessarily because I am dreadfully unfit these days, but because it would hurt!
I am of the generation that remembers Zola Budd and her barefoot Olympic running. From memory, she was the only one and it was all rather exciting, if not unusual. It seems that this is all rather complex.There are many in favour of barefoot running and many think its ludicrous. There are all sorts of studies out there and it seems that the jury is still out on this one. For me, irrespective of the fact that I love going barefoot, I would have to wear shoes. What do you think?
I have yet to investigate whether any of the running clubs that support barefoot running undertake risk assessments although I am not saying that they don't, I just haven't looked. I am certain, however, that shoe manufacturers undertake intensive trials before releasing their product for sale. Whether someone buys shoes suitable for their type of running is another matter entirely.
To date I have yet to see a claim by anyone injured as a result of running barefoot. However, to date I have yet to see a claim by a runner injured by their shoes. Watch this space.
Chartered Legal Executive - Personal Injury team
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