Barefoot running has become more popular over the past several years and much controversy exists about this style of running. Dr. Brown and Dr. Saffer are both avid runners but actually have completely different foot types and running styles. Dr. Brown is an experienced runner and has a normal arch type which allows him to withstand the barefoot running technique. Dr. Brown suffered from a nagging foot injury for the past several years and slowly adopted the barefoot running technique which eventually resolved his foot pain. Dr. Brown has completed a full Marathon in the past with running shoes but now runs 5/10K running barefoot. Most recenlty Dr. Brown ran the Cooper River Bridge 2013 and Turkey Day run 2013 Barefoot.
Dr. Saffer on the other hand is an experience runner as well but has a flexible flatfoot (No arch at all). This foot type for Dr. Saffer does not allow him to tolerate barefoot running for long distances. Dr. Saffer uses a custom foot orthotic along with a anti-pronation motion control running shoe. Using a custom foot orthotic, anti-pronation running shoe, and adopting chi-running style has allowed Dr. Saffer to slowly go from 5K/10K runs to currently training for a 1/2 Marathon.
One important fact to consider is as we age and lose flexibility and the ability to compensate for our biomechanical imbalances, barefoot running may not be advisable. If you are considering running barefoot we encourage you to have your feet evaluated by our foot specialists. Dr. Brown and Dr. Saffer are not only trained Sports Medicine Specialists of the foot but also have experience with running and know what it takes to keep you active.