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Posts for tag: Forefoot striking

By Dr. Pinsker
June 02, 2012

Running has become an extremely popular sport worldwide. However, even though it’s very popular, running is often associated with many injuries to your feet and ankles. Running may be associated with injuries, but many people find the endorphins worth the pain. But wouldn’t you reduce the risk of injury if you could? Researchers are doing just that, breaking down the way you run and discovering the best techniques to prevent injury and protect the health of your feet.

A popular trend includes running barefoot and some even think it’s the best way to run. But don’t go slinging off your socks and shoes just yet! You’ve probably heard somewhere that barefoot running is bad for your feet - and it is. Contradicting ourselves? Not exactly! While it is not safe to run barefoot (because you lose the protection from sharp objects), the technique used in barefoot running is actually good for you.

Barefoot running forces your feet and the rest of your body to run naturally. While running specific footwear is designed to give you the optimal functionality in order to produce your best performance, it can alter the way you run. Running shoes allow runners to unnaturally strike the ground with their heel rather than their forefoot. The protective cushioning actually prevents you from landing softly, like you would if you weren’t wearing shoes.

These studies don’t mean you should give up on your protective footwear! Socks and shoes are an important element in keeping your feet healthy. Instead of ditching the footwear, you should incorporate the technique of barefoot running while running in your protective footwear. Striking your forefoot after every stride keeps your feet healthier for longer. Forefoot strikers are less likely to develop an injury than heel strikers.

The best way to change your running technique is to be conscious of the way you run. You can start off by running on a treadmill placed in front of a mirror. This will allow you to visually see the way you run so you will know how to correct it. Once you have mastered this aspect of changing your technique, take it to the track. Before you know it you will combine the efforts of barefoot running with the safety of footwear.

Striking at your forefoot can prevent many injuries associated with running. If you have difficulty changing your technique, or are simply unsure where to start, call our office at (724) 225-7410 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Phil Pinsker.