This article was in this month's ChiroHealth newsletter put out by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). I thought this was an interesting topic and wanted to share it. I also included some additional links below for anyone wanting to know more:
Until recently, most of us considered athletic shoes an important and essential part of our athletic training gear. Every year since the mid-1970s, the big running shoe companies have introduced new product lines based on shoes with increased cushion and support. Today, however, there has been an uprising among subgroups of runners, cross-fitness enthusiasts and weight lifters: Less shoe is better, and no shoe is best.
The premise behind barefoot running is essentially that the intrinsic muscles, joints, ligaments and mechanoreceptors of the feet require stimulation to function properly. And this optimal function is inhibited by highly supportive and cushioned shoes.
If you’re interested in trying out barefoot running, consider this advice before you begin.
* Start with walking barefoot or in minimalist shoes, and gradually work into running.
* Progress to short runs. Begin running only five minutes per run, and gradually increase.
* Rather than going totally barefoot, use a minimalist shoe to protect your feet from thorns, glass, nails, stones and other debris.
* Stop barefoot running at the earliest sign of pain.
* Avoid running barefoot in freezing temperatures. Shoes protect us from frostbite if nothing else.
* Be prepared for blisters and calluses to form as you transition to barefoot running.
Runblogger's Guide to Minimalist Running Shoes
2011 Minimalist and Barefoot Style Running Shoes