Barefoot running trend may or may not help foot pain

Caution for those with bunions or hammer toes

Barefoot running and foot painThe benefits of running sans shoes have been touted by many athletes and covered by news sources like the New York Times. However, it's a hot debate over whether the practice is actually a good idea.

In an article on SignOnSanDiego.com, the author discussed the rewards and drawbacks of barefoot running.

The athletes and coaches interviewed for the piece talked about how the practice had helped them improve their running times, cured back and foot pain and exfoliated away calluses and dry skin.

However, Gregory Clark, chief of podiatry at Scripps Clinic warned that while running without shoes may work well for individuals who are in shape and experienced athletes, many people in the U.S. today are out of shape and require more support.

"Running barefoot or with some kind of minimalist shoe should be done with significant caution,” Clark said.

Correct bunion with a bunion splint

Furthermore, an article on AmericasPodiatrist.com reports that individuals suffering from bunions, hammer toe or other bone deformities should avoid barefoot running. The piece states that these people should consider the use of orthotics to correct their conditions.

Bunion splints have also been shown to be effective in preventing or correcting bunions or hammer toe, helping individuals avoid painful bunion surgery.

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