Number of barefoot runners appears to be growing |

Number of barefoot runners appears to be growing

Anica Wong
The Denver Post

The pavement begins to warm under the summer Colorado sun as Michael Sandler jogs up Flagstaff Road near Boulder. Normally, this shouldn’t concern a runner. Sandler, however, is jogging barefoot.

“When you are barefoot, you are forced to run the way ancient man ran, which is a soft dance,” Sandler said. “Even my upper body got stronger.”

He claims he can run farther and with less chance of injury now that he has left his running shoes in the closet. He’s far from the only runner who believes so. The number of barefoot runners appears to be a growing niche among the running community. Those who run barefoot maintain it helps them keep a stride that delivers less shock to the foot, helping prevent injuries.

But experts caution that only a small percentage of runners can successfully train sans shoes.

“Your muscles, tendons and bones are balanced if your shoe is properly fit and your foot is properly supported,” said Eugene Rosenthal, a local podiatrist, who said he would never recommend running barefoot.

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