I am continually asked in clinic what I think of barefoot running ‘advantages vs disadvantages’.The reality is that long distance running on a hard surface will only serve to cause injury and pain. Whilst the foot does serve to act as a natural shock absorber, the capability of the foot to shock absorb is limited. It has been well documented that long distance barefoot running on a hard surface will cause injuries such as: shin splints, achilles tendonitis, patellofemoral pain, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, plantar fasciitis, metatarsal pain, calf tears ,,, and this is just to name a few!
The flip side of the coin is that training with bare feet for exercises which are non impact and have a focus on balance/ proprioception will see greater improvements in feedback to the brains balance centre and improved overall control.Important to note that everyone has a different biomechanical make up and some of us will be more predisposed to injury with barefoot exercise. Ensure to get a proper assessment from a Physio to assess your injury predisposition with this type of exercise!