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Tackling The 10 Myths Of Barefoot Running: Article on Podiatry Today

English: barefoot running

Image via Wikipedia

My buddy Tuck over at the Yelling Stop Blog just posted a link to an interesting article published recently on the Podiatry Today website. Authored by Dr. Nicholas Campitelli, a podiatrist from Ohio, the article discusses the “10 Myths of Barefoot Running.” Dr. Campitelli is actually a minimalist running advocate, and he opens his list of myths with the following passage:

“Barefoot running, minimalist running and natural running are all terms that describe running in a manner that allows our foot to function the way it was designed (or has evolved). This happens through the use of little or no shoe at all. Many runners suffering from chronic injuries are adopting this way of running and are experiencing relief of symptoms to find themselves running with enjoyment and a more relaxing form.

I too have been cured of a running injury, which I suffered from for over eight years, after transitioning my gait to that of a “barefoot” runner. Without further ado, here are the 10 myths of barefoot running.”

To read Dr. Campitelli’s myths, head on over to Podiatry Today:

It’s probably worth reiterating my personal position on this topic – I believe that that minimalist running (or at least adopting a more barefoot-style running form) has many potential benefits, but that it is not something that must be pursued at all costs if one is already running well and injury free in typical running shoes. As always, my desire is for runners to recognize the variation in footwear options that are available, and to not be afraid to experiment with something less in a quest to find the shoe that best matches their needs. It should be interesting to watch any discussion on the subject that ensues in the comments posted after the article!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Felipe Fassy says:

    Nice article. Good to encourage me to buy the Mizuno Wave Universe 4.  :)

  2. Great article!

  3. Blaise Dubois says:

    I 100% agree with “…but that it is not something that must be pursued at all costs if one is already running well and injury free in typical running shoes…”  But I will add “And don’t wan’t performed or improved his/her time”. 

    At the end, most of the runners are use to run with “traditional shoes” (>90%) but most of the runners are injured (>50%) and most of the runners want improved their time… So it’s not normal that 90% of the market are big bulky shoes (light trainer and bigger)
    (We will do a post on the blog of The Running Clinic tomorrow: Why Blaise Dubois recommend big bulky shoes)

  4. Good article.  I read some of the comments and took issue with one in particular (“We will continue to see the ego driven fringe of the running community attempting to find an edge on their fellow runners.”).  The quote was written by a Robert Steinberg, DPM who went on to describe how he has treated a greater number of injured barefoot runners recently.  From what I have read and experienced first hand, most people who switch to barefoot/minimalist running do NOT do so to gain some sort of edge over their competition.  We make the switch to improve our running, avoid injury, enjoy the feeling of free feet, try something new, etc.  He makes it sound like people who switch to barefoot running do it as some sort of desperate and clandestine attempt to find the elusive “fountain of youth” that will allow them to be faster than the next guy or girl.  It’s just not like that.  If anything, we are out there encouraging more and more people to try it.  

    Also, he’s probably seeing more barefoot running related injuries because more people are trying barefoot running and doing to much too soon.  That one was easy to deduce.  

    • Felipe Fassy says:

      As Pete said in other posts and comments (and i agree!), if your shoes are doing great for you (no pain!), there is no need to change.

      But if you think to switch to minimalist running, do it gradually, in a linear progression. In this way, you are going to allow your body (feet, knees, legs, muscles) to be ready for the new impact and new running style.

  5. Hi Dr, Larson, best for the New Year!
    QQ: sorry if off topic, but is there a video out there that shows the young man (in the attached jpg ) running, please? I like his foot placement. Seems to be correct, in a primal sense, un-encumbered by a shoe.

    Thanks in advance,

    Indy M.
    Sunnyvale CA.

  6. Blaisedubois says:

    Hi Pete, 
    Did you see the comment of Kevin A. Kirby “Here are some facts that the barefoot running advocates seem to never mention”
    I send my answers on his comments on Podiatry Today’s blog one week ago, but the blog seems to be dead… Will post my answers on your blog if you want.

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