Running barefoot better for health than with shoes

Barefoot running can be beneficial while heavily cushioned running shoes may be leaving the foot prone to injury, according to a US sports medicine expert.

Irene Davis of Harvard University has been studying both barefoot running and minimal footwear running, which uses a type of running shoe almost like a glove for the foot, but with a thin layer of rubber on the bottom, reports ABC Science.

These shoes give the foot its full range of natural movement, but protect the sole from stones or extreme surface temperatures.

Davis, a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, said cushioned running shoes encourage runners to land hard on the heel at the end of each stride.

`When you land on your heel you end up with a very quick rise to peak in the force that your body experiences. That completely goes away when you run barefoot because you land on the ball of your foot,` said Davis.

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