Author: Joel Mason, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS
Contributing Author: Sarah Schultz, MS, LAT
Many individuals enjoy the freedom and competition that running provides. There is much to know about running to be effective and safe in this growing sport. Here are a few running myths to consider.
Running Myth One: Running barefoot will cause injuries by stepping on broken glass, nails or other sharp objects in the street. The risk is much less than most people think and may be much less than the risk of developing other injuries (plantar fasciitis, fat pad atrophy, knee, hip and back problems, etc.). It will get your feet dirty though!
Running Myth Two: Soft surfaces decrease the stress on our knees and will help prevent stress fractures. When we run on a soft surface, our body tenses up to prepare for impact; leading to knee extension, which causes the heel to strike first and the body to brace itself.
Running Myth Three: Minimalist or Barefoot Running Shoes are the same as running barefoot. Absolutely not! While Vibram Five Fingers are closer to barefoot running versus traditional shoes, you are actually more likely to get injured running in minimalist or barefoot shoes versus regular shoes if you do not modify your form (bending knees more, mid to forefoot strike, etc.). The research only says your form will automatically change with Vibram Five Fingers. However, the surest way to ensure form modification is to run completely barefoot which will give you the proprioceptive input needed to change your form.