Barefoot Running Injuries Stats

2010 will go down as the year when barefoot running became a craze. The running fraternity was bombarded with research papers telling us why going barefoot is the way to run.

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The scholars told us barefoot running prevents hurtful running injuries! Really?

Now there is growing evidence barefoot running is causing injuries, from aching heels, ankles and top of the foot. Doctors are reporting seeing a rise in barefoot running injuries.

Steve Pribut, a Washington, DC podiatrist and one of America’s most respected running injury specialists, says he has experienced a recent influx of barefoot runners at his office as well. And, asked by email whether he could confirm a barefoot running injury trend in his clinical experience, Lewis Maharam, a.k.a “Running Doc,” replied with two words: “Oh, yeah!”

From Running Network Barefoot running epidemic.

I just have had the opportunity to meet up with 3 ‘barefoot runners’. Only one of them is still doing some drills barefoot; the other two were disillusioned because of the injuries. One with stress fractures from his Vibrams; and the other could not shake “Top of Foot Pain” – it was not until he went back to his running shoes would it go away, only to return again when he tried to transition.

It was the nature of the “Top of Foot Pain” in barefoot running that intrigued me, so I did some looking up and it is commonly reported by barefoot runners.

From Podiatry Arena Barefoot running.

5 thoughts on “Barefoot Running Injuries Stats

  1. njrunner

    Top of foot pain is common with Vibrams, but it’s caused by landing with the foot pointed slightly outward. This causes a pulling between the toes and resulting strain. Very simple: straightening the landing solves this. Stress fractures with Vibrams? The runner is landing way hard. You have to run gently in them, with a rolling gate, no braking and no pushing off. It’s a learning process, a transition that takes months not weeks, but the result is worth it. For me, running without joint pain for the first time ever. I would never go back to running shoes.

  2. Todd

    These injuries are probably happening because people are not going to barefoot or vibrams to quickly and not doing it gradually. Also where are some numbers for stats? Not a very good article, need some percentages to back this up.

  3. Steve

    This article is totally bogus. First of all there are no stats provided in an article titled “Barefoot Running Injuries Stats.” Second, the article is about 2 whole sentences long, followed by 2 vague testimonials that could be summarized, “Lots of barefoot runners experience injuries.”

    Your article contains no evidence. Nor does it even really contain an argument. It just makes a claim that barefoot running is unsafe and does nothing whatsoever to back it up.

    From Constantine : The article has links to the primary source of the claims. For evidence please follow the links.


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