Time to Ditch the Running Shoes?


Current research has thrown up questions about our beloved running shoes. Is it better to run without them? With or without them running can still be an injury prone passion, so what can be done to help? Is Osteopathy the answer?

It is not uncommon to have pain whilst running. You can expect to gain 2 to 30+ injuries per 1000 hours running. These injuries can range from the foot and ankle all the way up to the lower back. The pain can come and go, get worse during running or even later that day post run.

How often should I replace my running shoes?

The answer ranges between 350 – 500 miles. If you’re running at a pace of an 8 minute mile, per every hour, those shoes will last around 60 hours. Wearing older shoes that have lasted longer than 500 miles can result in

  • Shin splints
  • Heel spurs
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Stress fractures
Barefoot Vs Shoes

Research suggests that the rate at which runners get injuries does not change no matter what is, or isn’t, on your feet. However the type of injury does. As expected without shoes the injuries tend to be injuries to the bottom of the foot as well as into the calf. Whereas those wearing shoes had more injuries relating to knees and hips, as well as more likely to develop a condition known as plantar fasciitis.

What can I do about the pain?

It takes time for injuries to heal depending on the severity of the injury it can range from a few weeks to months. With regards to light strains and sprains it usually takes between 2 to 8 weeks to fully recover. In order to achieve a faster recovery it is a good idea to treat the injury as soon as possible.

Common treatment options for any trauma related injuries (such as a fall or a twisted ankle) include:

  • RICE (rest ice compression and elevation)
  • Sport Taping

If the pain is on the bottom of the foot:

  • Freezing a water bottle and rolling it under the foot
  • Rolling a tennis ball under the foot.
What about Osteopathy?

If the pain has more of a mechanical origin, like if it comes on during a certain distance without a known reason, then osteopathic treatment may be ideal for you. During the first treatment you will be assessed from your lower back all the way to your little pinky. We will then tailor a treatment plan just for you and get you back up and running as soon as possible. This treatment will involve some hands on techniques to aid recovery as well as some things for you to do at home such as, exercises and ice advice. 

Although we can help with the pain we can’t help with deciding whether you want to throw away those running shoes for good!

“No doubt a brain and some shoes are essential for marathon success, although if it comes down to a choice, pick the shoes. More people finish marathons with no brains than with no shoes.” – Don Kardong