The barefoot running trend has both staunch opponents and enthusiastic supporters. The former camp claims that running sans shoes leaves athletes without shock protection, among other things, while the latter group alleges that forgoing footwear allows for proper biomechanical motion.
Recently, the Huffington Post published an article stating that the popularity of barefoot running has been a boon to podiatrists, who have reportedly been treating stress fractures, foot pain and Achilles tendonitis more often now that the trend is in full swing.
The news source cited the case of marathon runner Ryan Carter, a man who jumped on the barefoot running bandwagon only to end up with a stress fracture in his metatarsal bone.
“It was as though someone had taken a hammer and hit me with it,” Carter told the news source.
While the impact of running without shoes likely had something to do with Carter’s fracture, Runners Rescue reports that the injury may also result from other metatarsal stressors, like bunions or fallen arches.