Bare Feet Beat Running Shoes In Harvard Study

01.28.10 | FL News Team

Serious sprinters may want to think twice before they shell out the big bucks for a fancy pair of running shoes. A new study published in the journal "Nature" says running in bare feet may be the best way to go. The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard University, the University of Glasgow in England and Kenya's Moi University. They found that runners who wear shoes tend to feel a strong impact collision because they usually land on their heels. Barefoot runners, on the other hand, have much softer landings because they put the well-padded balls of their feet on the ground first. That gives runners who say "no" to shoes an extra spring in their step and makes them a lot less likely to hurt themselves. The researchers point out that runners need a few calluses before they can go shoeless without damaging the skin on their feet. They also say it's important to slowly strengthen the calf and foot muscles before ditching running shoes altogether.