Several years ago when I started to see sneakers with webbed feet (Vibram Five Fingers) and hear of people running barefoot, I thought it was ridiculous. Today I have a different perspective, however, because the amount of barefoot running research supporting the benefits of barefoot running is compelling.
The photo comparison below highlights the impact of wearing tight fitting and heavily padded sneakers and shoes. Notice in the photo on the left how the man’s feet have conformed to the shape of his shoes with his toes scrunched together and feet narrowed. The photo to the right of a man who walks barefoot has a “fanning” of the toes. Can you imagine the implications of running, or playing sports with feet like those on the left? Less stability, less strength, less ability to absorb shock – a whole lot of injuries waiting to happen.
Below is an infographic from my friends at XRay Technician Schools that highlights some of the issues of running with sneakers (still a very controversial issue) and describes the benefits of barefoot running. I think by the end of this infographic, you’ll have a greater appreciation for how “freeing your feet” may help improve how your body feels and functions.
Barefoot Running Research
Created by: X Ray Technician Schools