Opinions remain split on barefoot running

The barefoot running trend has vehement opponents and proponents – but what does it do for bunions? 

Opinions remain split on barefoot running Lately, people have been running around parks and tracks sans shoes in an effort to gain a more efficient stride and stable landing mechanics. Some believe that this is the way to go, while others say it's a passing trend. 

A recent Reuters report tells both sides of the story, featuring opinions from the founders of Barefoot Running UK and a sports podiatrist who recommends that athletes continue wearing shoes.

Anna Toombs and David Robinson, founders of the British barefoot running organization, say it's a matter of getting back to nature, and when the foot is unshod, it hits the ground the way it's supposed to.

However, sports podiatrist Simon Bartold says that shoes are needed in order to protect the feet from impact and debris on the ground.

Harvard University biomechanics experts report that when running barefoot, people tend to land on the more cushioned forefoot rather than the heel, which sometimes happens when runners wear highly padded shoes.

The jury's still out on what barefoot running can do for people with bunions. As a result, runners should go with what they prefer and use bunion splints after a jog to help keep bunions and hammer toe at bay. 

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