Ever since Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian runner, earned his first Olympic gold medal by running barefoot in the race, people have jumped into the wagon of barefoot running. Thus, the explosion of the newest running fad began. Who would have thought that a mere wardrobe malfunction could give birth to something as widely discussed as minimalist running!
Abebe Bikila was given running shoes to use for the race; unfortunately, he was not that comfortable with the shoe and at the last minute, he decided to just get rid of the pair and run barefoot. It was in 1960 and since then, the need to run shoeless is taking stride. It even came to a point where other athletes have started running their own races on barefoot as well!
However, most scientists and health experts remain on the fence on whether barefoot running is good or bad for you. One of the main reasons why the experts thought that Bikila benefited much from running barefoot was the fact that he had been practicing without shoes ever since he started training. And in totality, this is the point that most runners are missing.
Barefoot running is something that can either be beneficial or hurtful for an athlete or even those who just run for leisure or health reasons. But it is not because of the gear that he or she will be wearing. If a person has been accustomed to running without shoes for many years, then he might have reaped all the benefits and wellness that running naturally can provide for him or her. Plus, he or she does not have to worry about injuries!
If you have been running with regular running shoes for most of your career or you have encountered an injury and cannot run wearing the ordinary footwear that you’re used to, switching to barefoot running might do more harm than you have anticipated. This is because your feet are not trained in minimalist running. Some scientists also suggest that this form of minimal running can cause stress fractures on the front part of the foot and can increase soreness in the calves.
Bottom line, it is a fact that anybody can run the risk of injury whether they wear something or not on their feet. It is also obvious that what barefoot naysayers are trying to imply is that one does not just automatically go into running barefoot without easing into it. So, if you ever consider transitioning into the barefoot world, make sure that you take necessary caution and know enough about the sport!