When Patients Ask About Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes
- Volume 26 - Issue 5 - May 2013
- 18913 reads
- 3 comments
Dr. Johncock says it is “ill-advised” for podiatrists to vilify barefoot runners just as he feels it is wrong for barefoot running advocates to attempt to make podiatrists villains for prescribing orthoses that they feel will benefit their patients. Dr. Romansky concurs, noting that many individuals have blamed current injury patterns on a shoe type or a shoe company. He feels answers will come through ongoing research on the subject.
“With time, we will (and have already begun) to build a new injury database noting the pattern, type and severity of injuries associated with barefoot running and/or the minimalist shoe movement,” notes Dr. Romansky. “We would be shortsighted or narrow-minded not to think so.”
Drs. Kirby, Romansky and Johncock says there are other silver linings to the recent barefoot running/minimalist shoe movement.
“Overall, the whole barefoot running fad has been a valuable lesson for many runners and many sports medicine podiatrists in that it has clearly demonstrated that popular books and shoe company-sponsored research are no match for the hard facts that come from good science,” notes Dr. Kirby.
“The barefoot running debate has forced me to rethink my perspective on what’s good and what’s bad,” concedes Dr. Johncock. “Let us reexamine the available data. Let us create new studies to look at the risks and benefits of new running techniques, shoe types and barefoot running. Do minimalist shoe wearers need orthotics or do these shoes change the type of orthotic which would be beneficial? Will minimalist shoes give better results for those with a neutral gait pattern versus an overpronator?”
Dr. Romansky agrees that the minimalist footwear trend has forced physicians and healthcare providers to “revisit, revamp and reevaluate” current perceptions, and consider what the future holds for shoe technology, shoe design, training habits, training routines and programs of athletes.
“It is a work in progress and an evolution to find the ultimate shoe but we should continue to look at the total athlete,” emphasizes Dr. Romansky. “Certain shoe types will bring out the individual athlete’s weaknesses, muscle/joint imbalances and compensation mechanisms of multiple body parts.”
Dr. Blake is a Fellow and Past President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. He is affiliated with the Center for Sports Medicine at the St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco.
Dr. Johncock is a Fellow of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and is board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He is in private practice in Hickory, N.C.
Dr. Kirby is an Adjunct Associate Professor within the Department of Applied Biomechanics at the California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, Calif. Dr. Kirby is board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine, and lectures nationally and internationally on barefoot and shod running biomechanics. He is in private practice in Sacramento, Calif.
Dr. Richie is an Adjunct Associate Professor within the Department of Applied Biomechanics at the California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, Calif. He is a Fellow and Past President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. Dr. Richie is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine. He is in private practice in Seal Beach, Calif. Dr. Richie writes a monthly blog for Podiatry Today. One can access his blog at www.podiatrytoday.com/blogs/301 .
Dr. Romansky is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He is the team podiatrist for the United States Olympic and World Cup Men’s and Women’s soccer teams. Dr. Romansky is in private practice in Media and Phoenixville, Pa.