Barefoot Isn't Best
January 22, 2017
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All people, young and old are now more physically active than ever before. Athletes are younger, stronger, faster and bigger. In addition, today's workouts have become more intense than ever. It has truly been a struggle for shoe companies to keep up with the activity level of today's society.

Today there is a barefoot movement that has taken many by storm. Athletes are trying to compete and work out with shoes that closely resemble a "barefoot" feel. These new wave sneakers and five toed shoes are made out of lightweight materials and very thin soles to attempt to bring us back to our barefoot days. The newness, the bright colors, the lightweight materials and the funky designs intrigue us. This is all an attempt to restore us to our natural ways of running and working out.

Watching our athletes on commercials and magazines wearing all these bright color outfits with the spectacular shoes motivate us to be like them. It does sound exciting! However, after a short time of working out in these lightweight shoes, the pain begins. These days we have an increasing number of patients coming into our office with extreme pain to the point they are limping into the office unable to bear weight on their foot or ankle. In addition, we are seeing athletes, at all different levels and ages, who are unable to train or participate in their current sport.

The lucky part is that it usually affects one foot at a time.  After a full biomechanical exam has been performed and history taken, it becomes evident that most of the time the source of their pain is from the shoes. These lightweight, five toed, funky colored shoes provide no support to protect the foot and ankle from the hard surfaces all around us. Concrete, asphalt, and hardwood floors with no shock absorption can break down these new lightweight shoes after only one week. I even attempted wearing these shoes with my orthotics and developed severe tendinitis after a couple of weeks. When I went back to a more supportive shoe along with my custom orthotics I was able to continue my workouts with no pain. In my opinion, the new style shoes are great for low impact activity. When working out and training involving high impact activities levels a more supportive shoe should be used with a custom orthotic or some type of corrective insert.  Call one of our offices today for more information on how to get yours.


James Anderson DPM