"Barefoot" running shoes tested
Reaping the benefits of running barefoot
The trend of running barefoot continues to spread throughout athletic communities due to the idea that it helps to strengthen the feet and ankles, as well as potentially increase speed.
An article in Runner's World states that wearing conventional athletic shoes alters the body's perception of the pressure and force it experiences while running, and that the major advantage of traditional footwear is to protect feet from "twigs and glass."
Shoe companies have taken note and developed footwear that is minimalistic, giving runners protection while still reaping some of the benefits of barefoot running. Wired.com rated some of the varieties of the shoes currently on the market.
The Vibram FiveFinger Bikila LS received a score of eight out of ten by the magazine because of the company's attention to detail in providing extra padding only on areas of the foot that receive high impact while running. Additionally, Wired reported that the brand fits snugly without irritation or pressure around the cuff.
Other shoes also scored well on the magazine's list, but no matter what, runner's must have feet in top condition in order to perform well.
Splint to relieve foot pain from repeated impact
Athletes have been known to develop bunions due to repeated impact on the feet. Luckily, they may find relief in bunion splints or orthotics, which could help to prevent or treat bunions or hammer toe without the need for bunion surgery.